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Celebrate Easter: Bunny, Events & Easter Egg Hunts: Charlotte, NC (2024)

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Are you looking for Easter activities, bunny brunches, and the perfect Easter Egg hunt? Charlotte, NC is full of events to celebrate the Easter season. Really, there are just so many events. To help you keep track of them and find the absolute best events and Easter Egg hunts for your kiddos, we created this list. We’ll be maintaining it all season long.

Bookmark this list, because we are just getting started! We’ll be updating this list all season long!

Want your event included? Email Maria@kiddingaroundcharlotte.com

Easter Egg Hunt: Charlotte NC

Find the Perfect Easter Egg Hunt: Charlotte, NC

Saturday, March 16th, 2024: Charlotte NC Easter Egg Hunts

Naturalist Egg Hunt: March 16th, 2024 from 10 am to 12 pm or 1 pm to 3 pm. Kids will make binoculars and search for replicas of real bird eggs hidden throughout SEED Wildlife & Children’s Garden. Kids will learn about songbirds and enjoy light refreshments. $25 for members and $30 for non-members, purchase tickets in advance.

Zeta Easter Egg Hunt: March 16th, 2024 from 12 pm to 3 pm. Free and open to the public at the Zeta House, there will be several egg hunts divided by age, plus face painting, bounce houses, games and more. 4248 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte

March 20th, 2024 (Wednesday)

Easter Egg Hunt at Martha Rivers Park: March 20th, 2024 at 6 pm. There will thousands of toy and sticker-filled eggs at this event and kids will hunt by age group. Parents are only allowed to help kids ages 2 and under. Gastonia, NC

March 22, 2024 (Friday)

Eggs in the Park: March 22, 2024 6 pm to 8 pm. The City of Lowell, NC will hide 6,000 eggs for this Easter Egg Hunt. Kids will be divided into hunts by age. Harold Rankin Park, Lowell, NC

Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 Easter Egg Hunt: Charlotte, NC

Hop to It: March 23rd, 2024 10 am to 1 pm. Indian Trail Parks and Recreation hosts this event at Chestnut Square Park. They will have egg hunts, photos with the East Bunny, crafts, and games The first hour of the hunt will be an inclusive egg hunt for those of differing abilities that will include different types of eggs including beeping eggs, magnetic eggs, and elevated eggs. FREE, 320 Chestnut Parkway Indian Trail

South End Spring Fling: March 23rd, 2024 10 am to 12 pm. This event at Pritchard Church will have egg hunts, vendors, food trucks, and face painting. It’s family and pet-friendly. Get your free tickets to Southend Spring Fling. 1117 South Boulevard Charlotte, NC, FREE

Easter Egg-Stravaganza: March 23rd, 2024 10 am to 1 pm at Lake Corriher Park in China Grove, NC. This one is free, with several age-designated egg hunts, Easter Bunny, and even a little petting zoo.

Piedmont Social House Easter Egg Hunt: March 23rd, 2024 10 am to 1 pm with egg hunts for kids 12 and under and free photos with the Easter Bunny with your own camera/phone.

Tom Sykes Recreation Center Bunny Brunch and Egg Hunt: March 23rd, 2024 from 10 am to 11:30 am. The cost is $12 for bunny brunch, Easter crafts, and an egg hunt at Dillworth Playground.

Greater Church Eggstravaganza: March 23rd, 2024 from 2 pm to 5 pm. This is a FREE event with a mega egg hunt, recreational activities, food vendors and more.

Hop into Spring (Cornelius, NC): March 23rd, 2024 from 2 pm to 4 pm. This event includes an Easter Egg Scramble that is free for residents of Cornerlius and $3 for non-residents. There will also be FREE for everyone: face painting, live music, inflatables, and more. Register in advance for the Egg Scramble.

Kids Pointe Easter Egg Hunt: March 23rd, 2024 from 3 pm to 5 pm with age-based egg hunts, games, bounce houses, and treats. Sign up in advance. Free

March 28th, 2024 (Thursday)

Sugaw Creek Recreation Center Spring Easter Egg Hunt: March 28th, 2024 at 6 pm. Register in advance. Kids will be broken into groups by age. FREE

Saturday, March 30th, 2024: Easter Egg Hunts in Charlotte, NC

Rama Swim Club Easter Egg Hunt: March 30th, 2024 10:30 am to 1 pm. In addition to an Easter Egg hunt, there will also be a petting zoo, Boba Tea Bar, food trucks, and face painting. 6109 Wheeler Drive, Charlotte

The Community Cookout & Egg Hunt: March 30th, 2024 11 am to 2 pm. In addition to a free egg hunt for kids ages 0 to 12, there will also be free hot dog plates for everyone, plus live music, games, and activities. 150 North Research Campus Drive, Kannapolis, NC

Mr. Putty’s First Annual Easter Egg Hunt: March 30th, 2024 from 9 am to 11 am. This is a free event with thousands of eggs hidden throughout the miniature golf course. Tega Cay coffee will also be handing out FREE coffee.

Downtown Belmont Easter Egg Hunt: March 30th, 2024 11 am to 1 pm at Stowe Park with Easter egg hunts, face painting, and pictures with the Easter Bunny. Bring your own basket.

Spring Craft Fair and Easter Egg Hunt: March 30th, 2024 10 am to 3 pm. Free hot dog plates, free Easter bunny photos, egg hunts on the hour beginning at 11 am, plus vendors. Idlewild Baptist Church, Mathews, NC

Eggstravaganza: March 30th, 2024 from 10:30 am to 12 pm. This Easter Egg hunt is for toddlers and preschool through 5th grade. Registration is requested. Free

Birkdale Village Easter Egg Hunt: March 30th, 2024 from 9 am to 10:30 am. The first annual Birkdal Village Easter Egg Hunt is free and open to the public, with egg hutns at 9 am and 10 am divided by age (3 and under at 9 am and 4-7 at 10 am). The Easter Bunny will also be available for photos.

Community Easter Egg Hunt at Roberta Baptist Church: March 30th, 2024 at 10:30 am. Register your child FREE to make sure they get in the right age group hunt.

Don’t forget to head over to our Kidding Around Charlotte Facebook page and our Community page where you can tell us your favorites and share any events we missed!

More Easter Activities

Donuts with Duck and Bunny: March 23rd, 2024 at 9 am, 10 am and 11 am. Purchase tickets in advance Tickets go on sale January 22, 2024. Each table is $10 and includes one donut per person and a family table craft.

Hop to the Movie: March 23rd, 2024 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Harrisburg park in Harrisburg, NC. Face painting, crafts, pictures with Easter Bunny and the movie Hop begins at 6 pm.

Spring Fling at Blakeney Town Center on March 23rd, 2024 from 1 pm to 2 pm will include pictures with the Easter Bunny, balloon artists, face painter, Live DJ and more.

2024 Easter Bunny Run 5K & Festival: March 30th, 2024. This event includes a 5k, fun run, and totally FREE festival that will have food trucks, music, crafts and even dancing with the Easter Bunny from 9 am to 11 am.

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny

March 15th, 2024: Kendra Gives Back: Free Photos with the Easter Bunny at Kendra Scott (Jewelry), 16805 Birkdale Commons Parkway, Huntersville, partnered with the Absolute Hope Foundation. 20% of profits from purchases will go to the Absolute Hope Foundation.

Hop to Midtown, on March 23rd, 2024 from 11 am to 2 pm, get a free photo with the Easter Bunny taken by a professional photographer, plus enjoy face painting and a live DJ.

Ring in Spring, on March 23rd, 2024 from 11 am to 2 pm, get a free photo with the Easter Bunny at Bel Tower Green, plus spring crafts, hayrides and more.

Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops offer free visits and free professional photos with the Easter Bunny every year. Find out more about Bass Pro Shops FREE Easter Bunny Photos in our review and check back soon for 2024 information!

Easter Bunny Family photo at Cabelas
Thanks to our readers for sending us this cute photo.

More Easter Events Worth the Drive

Want more Easter?

Plan a day trip to the Upstate and try one of these Easter Egg Hunts in Greenville, SC or head to the midlands for Easter in Columbia, SC.

Spring Festival at Museum of the Waxhaws Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 from 10 am to 3 pm. FREE family event with egg hunt, crafts, visits with the Easter Bunny and living history demonstrations. Waxhaw, NC

Sharpe House Easter Tea and Egg Hunt 2024 Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 from 11 am to 4 pm. This event is an Easter Tea and egg hunts. There are 3 different seatings at 11 am, 12:45 pm, and 2:30 pm, and the egg hunts will be after the tea. Purchase tickets in advance. Statesville, NC

Take a Ride on the Easter Bunny Express at the South Carolina Transportation Museum. Tickets are available for March 23rd and March 30th, 2024. There are five trains each day and they will fill up, so get your tickets in advance! Winnsboro, SC

35+ Things to Do in Charlotte, NC: Fun Days Start Here

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Looking for fun things to do in Charlotte, NC? Here’s a list of just a few of the fun things in the Charlotte area. Don’t forget to let us know your favorite things to do in the comments!

Here’s just some of the fun that awaits you in the Queen City! Be sure to check back as we add more first-hand accounts of adventures we have in the Charlotte area. 

Things to Do in Charlotte, NC

Things to Do in Charlotte: Highlights

🆓Our free things to-do list is full of family fun on a budget.

❤️ Valentine’s Day is coming and that means date night! Find a totally unique date idea in Charlotte, NC on our list! We also have recommendations for 10 Great Romantic Restaurants in Charlotte, NC.

⛸️And, if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, don’t miss the video below about our trip to the Whitewater Center for Ice Skating. We had a blast!

NEW! Our INDOOR GUIDE is full of indoor activities in Charlotte!

Free things to do in Charlotte, North Carolina for families.

Check out our HUGE list of totally FREE Things to Do in Charlotte, NC



Things to Do in Charlotte, North Carolina

Discovery Place Science Center 
Purchase advance time reserved tickets online year-round
This large kid-friendly science museum in the heart of downtown Charlotte is a great way to spend a rainy day with your family. The museum offers exhibits with live animals, STEM topics, an Imax theatre, and more. 

Reedy Creek Nature Preserve
This is an amazing nature center and preserve about 6 miles northwest of downtown Charlotte, which is located inside of the larger Reedy Creek Park. The park includes a playground, a science center, hiking trails, and more. 

US National Whitewater Center
Purchase online activity passes in advance for 30+ recreational activities

Ice skating at the Whitewater Center

If you are looking for a place full of outdoor adventure, this is it. The center offers white water activities and provides visitors with the opportunity to rock climb, hike, mountain bike, zipline, and much more. We went ice skating at the Whitewater Center and really enjoyed the experience.

Readers shared their love for the US National White Water Center on Facebook with us recently when we asked if they had been. 

Several times and loved it! The rafting is a short loop, but it’s intense depending on where the raft guide decides to go. The zip line is the best I’ve ever been on. There are events for smaller children too, like rock climbing. It’s well worth the trip.

Tina M.

Yes! Have season passes. Great for kids 6 & up, plus families. As an adult that is not crazy about being outdoors I love the white water rafting and flat water kayaking. Plenty to do for a whole day’s visit!

Virginia W.W.

Many times and we’ve done it all! Mountain biking to zip line to rafting and even experienced their live music series, River Jam…. enough to spend a full day there with the fam (10yo+)

Nikki W.

Carolina Raptor Center
Purchase advance tickets online year-round
This rehabilitation and education center is home to falcons, hawks, owls, eagles and vultures from all over the world. Guests will have the chance to learn about and meet these magnificent birds up close.

Raptor Center

Carowinds Amusement Park
Purchase online tickets in advance seasonally.
Find out what makes this park a favorite of Upstate’s families, including how your younger children can get in for free!  

The Rooftop Pool At The Omni Hotel 
Reserve your day pass online through the Coin Bar 
Do you want to live like a high-end traveler, sunning yourself next to a rooftop pool, but sleep in your own bed at night? The Omni hotel offers visitors to the Queen City day passes to use this large pool deck that overlooks the city.

Unique date ideas: Charlotte, NC

Looking for things to do for couples in Charlotte, NC? Our list of unique date ideas has some really great options!

Ninja Nation

Check out Ninja Nation or one of the many camps and classes at Ninja Nation in Huntersville. Kids (and parents) will get to live out their Ninja Warrior dreams.

14120 Statesville Road, Huntersville, NC

Arena and large foam blocks at Ninja Nation near Charlotte, North Carolina

Stay Inside!

If you’re looking for things to do indoors, you’ll want to visit our Indoor Fun Guide.

Seriously, our list has more than 50 great ideas.

Indoor things to do in Charlotte NC

Things to do in Cabarrus County, North Carolina

Plan an entire day in Concord, NC with our guide to the area

Visit Charlotte Motorspeedway
Whether you’re attending a race at the speedway, an event at ZMAX Dragway, an event at the dirt track or stopping by for a tour, there’s always a lot to see at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Look for family-friendly deals like free kids’ tickets at select events, take advantage of activities and music in the fan zone outside the track, and enjoy a race at one of the iconic tracks that make up the Charlotte Motor Speedway.


Great Wolf Lodge – Concord
An easy drive from the Upstate, Great Wolf Lodge is a great one-stop destination for families, and your stay includes an indoor waterpark that’s nice and warm even in the winter. The activities provided at the Lodge mean that no extra planning has to be done to make this a fun-filled trip. 

iFLY in Concord
iFLY is an indoor skydiving simulator where you enter a wind tunnel that is strong enough to allow you to float in the air. 

Escape Game: Concord Mills

The Escape Game in Concord Mills

We visited Escape Game to try out one of their new escape room games. It’s a great place to bring the family or a group of older kids and test yourselves with the puzzles needed to escape the room.

Here’s our review of the Escape Game.

8111 Concord Mills Boulevard #129b, Concord

Explore the Outdoors

Go see something beautiful!

Seasonal Fun in The Charlotte, NC Area 

Don’t miss these annual events and things to do happening seasonally in the Charlotte, NC area.

Spring

Spring in Charlotte, NC

Warmer weather arrived?

Here’s the Kidding Around Guide to Spring in Charlotte, NC

Winter

Charlotte, NC Winter Things to Do

Love Winter?

Here’s our Kidding Around Winter Guide to Charlotte!

Go Ice Skating at the Whitewater Center from mid-November to mid-February each year. We went with our family of 6, including those hard-to-please teens, and we all had such a great time! You can see our full review of skating at the Whitewater Center.

Here’s where you can go snow tubing near Charlotte, NC

Snow tubing Charlotte NC

Valentine’s Day in Charlotte, NC

Time to plan your Valentine’s Day? No problem! Here’s our big Charlotte Valentine’s Day Guide!

Christmas

Christmas Town USA – McAdenville, NC
This tiny town of just under 700 people takes the Christmas season very seriously. It all started with nine trees being decorated by the Men’s Club. The following year they did a few more, and that continued every year. By 2004 nearly 400 trees were decorated, and the town residents all decided to join in the fun. The joint effort resulted in almost half a million lights adorning the 1.3 mile stretch of road that visitors see as they pass through the town.

Christmas Lights at The Charlotte Motor Speedway
Purchase advance tickets online
Speedway Christmas is unique in that you get to drive your own car on the racetrack that is normally driven on by professional NASCAR drivers.  Unfortunately your mini-van will be going at a snail’s pace, but it’s still pretty cool in my opinion. On the 3.75 mile drive-thru course visitors get to view displays consisting of over four million lights!  

Charlotte Motor Speedway Lights

Kannapolis Village Park
Enjoy the totally free Christmas light display you can walk through at Kannapolis Park. Or, hop aboard the Winter Express train for just $2 and view the lights from the rails. The park’s double-decker carousel also operates during the lights events.

Fall in Charlotte, NC

Pick Apples! Here are all the best apple orchards near Charlotte, NC.

Apple picking at Grandad's

Carolina Renaissance Festival
Fall: Purchase advance tickets online

Fans of a time long forgotten can weave their way through huge roasted “turkey legs”, unique handcrafted item vendors, mermaids, fairies, sword jugglers, falconry demonstrations, and a jousting tournament. Your child can even be knighted by Queen Isabella while you are there!

More Seasonal Things to Do in Charlotte

The Quarry at Carrigan Farms
Summer: Purchase online tickets in advance for Open Swim all summer
Looking for a unique place to cool off this summer? The Quarry at Carrigan Farms in Mooresville, NC, might be just the place. The quarry at Carrigan Farms offers guests a full day of water activities, including several rock jump-off points, rope swings, swimming areas, and a sand beach volleyball area. Slots book up quickly, and planning is recommended. 

York County, SC: Fun Just Across The Border from Charlotte in South Carolina 

Charlotte is so close to the state border that several popular attractions straddle both states. For example, did you know that Carowinds is in both North Carolina and South Carolina? In addition, visitors to the area often zip back and forth across state lines, so we decided to include some of our favorite things in the Charlotte area, across the state line in South Carolina. 

Plan an entire day in York County, SC with our guide to the area.

Kings Mountain State Park 
The Kings Mountain State Park and the Kings Mountain National Military Park are right next to each other and visible from I85.  You will cross into North Carolina and then back into South Carolina to get to the park, that’s how close this historical state park is to Charlotte. 

The Sunflowers of Draper Wildlife Area
If you are looking for a magical place to take family photos or just a place to visit for fresh air and a change of scenery, we found a place just south of Rock Hill that won’t cost you a dime to enjoy. The Sunflower Fields of Draper Wildlife Area are only in bloom for few weeks over the summer, but if you plan correctly you can see them in full bloom in July.

Kings Mountain Battlefield

Anne Springs Close Greenway
The Greenway is a 2,100 nature preserve that is a continuation of the Springs’ family tradition of providing recreation options to the workers of the Springmaid Brand Mill workers. The park is a little more than a third of the land that the Springs family purchased from the Catawba Indians. The preserve includes hiking trails, lakes, creeks, wildflower gardens, and so many other things for your family to enjoy. 

Day Trips from Charlotte

Things to Do in Gastonia, NC

Plan an entire day in Gastonia, NC with our guide to the area. 

Schiele Museum of Natural History
Purchase online tickets in advance year-round
This museum makes a great day trip. We had a lot of fun visiting the museum and enjoyed exhibits on dinosaurs, minerals, animals, critters, nature, and so much more! If you haven’t been yet, you should add it to your museum bucket list.

Hickory, NC

Head up to the Catawba Science Center for lots of fun learning opportunities. We love their hands-on exhibits and aquarium space.

Catawba Science Center

Things to Do in Greenville, SC

We know a thing or two about Greenville, SC! Our sister-site, Kidding Around Greenville is the top family- fun resource in Greenville. Check out these awesome things to do in Greenville, SC.

Things to Do in Columbia, SC

We’re also covering all the family fun things to do in Columbia on our Kidding Around Columbia sister-site. Check out our huge list of things to do in Columbia for a super-fun day trip.

Places To Eat In The Charlotte Area 

Finding a spot to eat in the big city can be daunting, but luckily there’s good food to be found with a little bit of guidance. 


Kids Eat Free Charlotte, NC

Looking for kids’ meal deals? Visit our list of restaurants in Charlotte, NC where kids eat free (or cheap).


Food Halls in Charlotte

I love places where you can go and everyone can decide what they want, and it can be varied. My kids can usually only agree to disagree and this makes mealtime easier. 

Optimist Hall

A food hall in a converted warehouse that offers a kaleidoscope of options for hungry families.

  • AVA – authentic Italian and wood fired pizza
  • Bao & Broth – Bao buns and ramen bowls
  • Billy Sunday – award-winning cocktails and elevated bar menu
  • Botiwalla – Indian street food
  • Boxcar Betty’s – Fried chicken sandwiches
  • The Dumpling Lady – Szechuan street food
  • El Thrifty – Mexican inspired menu 
  • Felix Empanadas 
  • Harriett’s Hamburgers 
  • Honeysuckle Gelato
  • Mezeh Mediterranean Grill – a unique twist on the “mezze” dining experience
  • Noble Smoke – Southern barbecue
  • Papi Queso – grilled cheese kitchen
  • Suarez Bakery & Barra – Donuts and Cuban food
  • Undercurrent Coffee – coffee, tea, and light fare
  • Velvet Taco – funky tacos
  • Village Juice Co. – organic raw juice and clean food
  • Xiao Bao – Southeast Asian favorites
  • Zukku – rice bowls, sushi, burritos, poke

Camp Northend 

This multi-use venue is a 100-year-old Ford Model-T factory that now houses art exhibits, food vendors, and more. 

  • Babe & Butcher – charcuterie boxes and boards
  • La Caseta – the pocket size version of Sabor Latin Street food that we also have in Greenville
  • PopBar CLT – a handcrafted gelato pop vendor
  • Leah & Louise – (reservations recommended) Elevated deep south menu 
  • Plus vendors that serve burgers, plant-based menu items, cocktails, coffee and more! 
Gibson Mill Market in Concord

Gibson Mill

Gibson Mill has been renovated into a multi-use space with antique stores, entertainment like escape rooms and ax throwing, as well as a family-friendly food hall, the Gibson Mill Market.

We tried food from several of the vendors, and can report that the chicken sandwich from Johnny Rogers BBQ and Burgers is about as crispy as it gets. The kids really enjoyed their pizza from Livy’s Neapolitan Pizzeria.

You’ll also find vendors with tacos, cookies, ice cream, seafood, and more. For your adult beverages, there’s a cocktail bar upstairs and also a tap room downstairs.

Seating is available both indoors and outdoors.

For the kids, there is a small arcade room upstairs off the dining area.

And, for kids, families, and kids at heart, you’ll want to check out the board game cafe downstairs. Admission to the Luck Factory game cafe is $8 per person for a day pass. Stay and play games from their huge library all day long.

Gibson Mill Market
325 Mcgill Avenue NW, Concord
Hours vary by individual business

More Restaurants in Charlotte

Savory

I like to eat like the locals do when I travel, and in Charlotte that means soul food, BBQ and Fried Chicken dishes. 

Sweet

Save room for dessert, because there are too many delicious spots to skip if you don’t! 

Food from Sunflour Baking Company

One of our favorites for breakfast or lunch, stop by a Sunflour Baking Company location!

Get a delicious donut or pastry at OMG Donuts

Case of donuts and pastries at OMG Donuts & Bakery in Concord, North Carolina

8 Spots for Snow Tubing: Charlotte, NC

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Thinking about taking the kids snow tubing? Charlotte, NC is close to some great options that will make a wonderful family day trip. So, if you’re looking for a dose of epic winter family fun, just pick one of these snow tubing slopes near Charlotte. We’ve been to lots of these spots ourselves and you’ll find our reviews with each listing. We always have a great time and we’re fairly certain you can’t go wrong!

What’s so great about snow tubing?

Snow tubing is simple, family fun. Almost everyone can go and have fun, no special skills required. And we do mean you, parents. Watch the delight on your kids’ and teens’ faces when you join them at the top of the hill.

Snow tubing is vastly more affordable than a ski day, and (most of them) have snow. We realize that sounds weird, stick with us. Snow is a rather exciting and rare item in a southern winter. So, if you want to get out of the ho-hum-drum of January and get a change of scenery, snow tubing could definitely be the way to go.

Take a peek at our trip to Black Bear Snow Tubing in this video if you still need to be convinced!

Where to Snow Tube Near Charlotte, NC

Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park

9472 Highway 181, Jonas Ridge, NC
828.733.4155
2 hours from Charlotte, NC
Open now for 2024 season: requires reservations

Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing offers snow tubing that even the little ones will love. Jonas Ridge allows kids to tube as long as they can sit up in their own tube, though they do recommend ages 3 and up. Parents or accompanying adults can go down with young children by hanging on to their tube.

This snow tubing destination has staff photographers to capture action shots of your family so you can remember your fun day without being stuck behind the camera on your phone.

  • $30/ages 7+ $20/age 6 and under for an hour of tubing
  • $45/person and $30/age 6 and under for two hours of tubing.
  • Kids must be able to sit up on their own to go down in a tube. No lap riding.

Black Bear Snow Tubing

373 Kerr Road, Hendersonville, NC
828.685.1155
2 hours from Charlotte, NC
Open now for 2024 season, reservations are recommended

We love Black Bear Snow Tubing in Hendersonville, NC. The people are super friendly, there’s a pulley system that tows you to the top of the run, and then you’re ready to slide down the 600 feet of tubing lane that drops 80 ft. It’s a fast ride and our families love visiting here.

Kids must be 4 years old to ride down the slope, but they also have a small playground and snow area where little ones can enjoy the snow slope-side.

  • Tickets are $40 per 2 hours of tubing or $30 for one hour.
  • Children under 4 or under 40 lbs are not permitted to tube and kids ages 4-6 must be accompanied by an adult (on their own tube).
  • They accept cash and credit cards and, to save time, sign your waiver online.

Black Bear Snow Tubing

Check out our full review of Black Bear Snow Tubing.

If you’re headed to Hendersonville for either Black Bear Tubing or Moonshine Mountain, don’t forget to check out what else Hendersonville has to offer on your day trip! There are some really fabulous gems there like the awesome donuts at McFarlands Bakery and a super free model train museum. Find it all in our guide to Hendersonville, NC.

Moonshine Mountain

5865 Willow Road, Hendersonville, NC
828.696.0333
2 hours from Charlotte, NC
Open now for the 2024 Winter Season

Moonshine Mountain in Hendersonville, NC was is always mentioned by several Kidding Around readers when we ask you where to go tubing. 

  • Two hours of tubing for $40 per person. Cash only.
  • Be sure to check their current hours before making the trip.
  • Minimum height is 36″.

Read our Moonshine Mountain review for special tips on making the most of your time there.

Moonshine Mountain tubing

Crowders Ridge Chutes

4914 Linwood Road, Kings Mountain NC
35 minutes from Charlotte, NC
Open now, make reservations in advance

Remember when we said “most” of these places had snow? It was true. This place has snowless snow tubing at their camp, which they call Chutes. It looks really fun and it’s only about half an hour from Charlotte. So it’s perfect if you don’t have the whole day to dedicate to your snow tubing adventure. There are 4 lanes, 225 feet long and they’ll get you going pretty fast, up to 15 mph.

  • Each ticket includes 3 hours of tubing time and proceeds support the camp.
  • No official age limit but they suggest kids need to be at least five years old (younger kids can tube at the discretion of their parents).
  • Tickets are $25/person.
  • Open Friday & Saturday nights with slots at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 pm.

Hawksnest Snow Tubing

2058 Skyland Drive, Seven Devils, NC
828.963.6561
2 hours and 15 minutes from Charlotte, NC
Open for the 2024 winter season

Hawksnest Snow Tubing is a larger snow tubing park with 30 lanes. There is no hiking up the slopes here, just hook up to the magic carpets that allow you to save your energy for the tubing. Tubers must be at least 3 years old.

  • Tickets are $35/person on weekdays
  • Tickers are $40-47/person on weekends and holidays
  • One ticket is good for an hour and 45 minutes of tubing.

Sugar Mountain Resort: Tubing

1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Sugar Mountain, NC
800.SUGAR.MT
2 hours and 15 minutes from Charlotte, NC
Open for the 2024 season

You’ll find four tubing runs at Sugar Mountain which also offers skiing on its 20 slopes. Its a good spot for a full ski trip close to home and they also offer multiple lodging options, some slope side, so you don’t have to pack up the car when you’re done in the snow for the day. But Sugar Mountain is also a good spot to head for some tubing higher up in the mountains.

Sugar Mountain Resort is just 10 minutes from Banner Elk, NC.

  • Tubings costs: $36 weekdays, $45 weekends and holidays
  • Kids ages 3 and 4 ride free!
  • The minimum age is 3, and kids 6 and under must ride with an adult sharing a tube.

Beech Mountain

1007 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, NC
828.387.2011
Open for 2024, tickets are first come first serve

Beech Mountain Resort, is the highest ski resort in the Eastern United States. They offer skiing, snowboarding, a terrain park, ice skating, and of course snow tubing.

Like Sugar, Beech Mountain offers multiple lodging options.

  • Tubing guests must be at least 42″ tall
  • Tickets are $34/weekdays and $42/weekends and holidays

BONUS! There is also a free sledding hill right in the center of town. You can’t miss it as it’s on the main road that goes through the small town.

Zip n Slip

10725 US Highway 23 North, Mars Hill, NC
828.689.8444
2 1/2 hours from Charlotte, NC
Open now for the 2024 season, reservations can be made online

Located just outside Asheville in Mars Hill, NC, Zip-n-Slip has snow tubing plus a solarium with a fireplace and views of the runs. You can also enjoy hot chocolate and sometimes even food trucks on-site.

  • Prices start at $30/pp for an hour (it’s $22.50 for military, police, fire, and EMS persons) and go up to $45/pp for two hours.
  • Kids 5 and under are free.
  • Zip-n-Slip allows kids ages 3-5 to ride in the same tube as an adult.
  • Kids must be at least 3 years old for tubing.

Light the Knights

Truist Field
Festival has concluded- check back for Holiday Season 2024

The Light the Knights Festival offered an ice rink for ice skating, snow tubing, and a walk-through lights display at Truist Field to celebrate the holiday season in 2023. The event concluded on January 1st, 2024.

Charlotte, NC Winter Things to Do

Love Winter?

Here’s our Kidding Around Winter Guide to Charlotte!



Family Vacation Time? These Vacation Rentals With Private Indoor Pools are Awesome!

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Looking for vacation rentals with private indoor pools? We dug in and researched for you because amazing vacation homes with private indoor pools are surprisingly difficult to find and we know they make for wonderful family vacations. These mountain cabins and vacation house rentals are particularly perfect because they all include a private indoor pool.

Vacation rentals with indoor pools, private!

Your family can enjoy mountain towns and things to do, plus cozy fires, games, and swimming in your own private pool. We think these modest and luxury vacation rentals with private indoor pools make a pretty perfect trip, whether you’re looking for a little vacation away from the crowds, or just some quiet family time together.

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4 Miles, 4 Million Lights: Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights in Concord, NC

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With more than four million lights, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights at Speedway Christmas in Concord, NC is one of the biggest in the country and we’re here for it!

Thanks to Explore Cabarrus for media tickets and an overnight at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Concord so we could review the experience for our readers. All opinions are our own.

Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Speedway Christmas Presented by Atrium Health is unique in that you get to drive your own car on the racetrack that is normally driven on by professional NASCAR drivers.  Unfortunately, your mini-van will be going at a snail’s pace, but it’s still pretty cool. On the four-mile drive-thru course, visitors get to view displays consisting of over four million lights!  The Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights are easily one of the biggest displays in the country and there is just so much to see.

The Speedway is about an hour and 45 minutes from Greenville so if you want to stay overnight nearby, we’ve got just the place to do so at the Embassy Suites in Concord. Read on for the full review.

The Completely Epic Light Display with the Speedway Christmas Lights

There are four miles of more than four million lights at the Speedway Christmas. I’ve been to most of the Christmas light drive-through shows in our area so had a decent idea of what to expect but I can say with confidence that I was wrong. This light show is just unreal with so many cool surprises that it kept my kids and me enamored the whole time. For 2023, you get to see some awesome beach-themed displays in celebration of the theme, A Christmas Beach Party.

Entering the Racetrack for the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights

Once you get past the gate, you’ll go right onto the massive track. I had to squash the urge to floor it because really, how many times do you get to drive on a real racetrack? I did no flooring and went very slow with my headlights off like the other drivers, which is exactly what you need to do, so pay attention.

You will follow along with a string of red or blue lights, so you don’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn. If you’re behind someone going super slow, there are several places to pass cars if you want to do that. The speedway also recommends that slower traffic stay to the right, so those who want to go a little faster through the light show can pass on the left.

Speedway Christmas 2023 Santa's Beach Party

The First Section of Lights

There are three different areas of the light display but they all sync up to Christmas music that you listen to through your car radio. The first section is more of a fun light display with Santa doing funny things. As you enter the racetrack, you will see lots of animated displays following the theme. Wakeboarding Santa, Penguins splashing into a pool, Santa cruising on a boat with his reindeer friends shooting a canon of light, just to name a few.

The Second Section of Lights

The second section is a massive display of flashing lights from the bottom of the Speedway up through the seating area. This is where you will begin driving through a couple of light tunnels. You will also see the synchronized light displays with giant Christmas trees matching the beat of the songs coming from your 101.3FM radio channel with the LED light displays along the bleachers. This was probably my kid’s favorite part of the drive because of how many lights were dancing to the music.

Christmas trees at Speedway Christmas in Charlotte, North Carolina

The Final Section of Lights

The third and final section is tunnels full of lights – it’s super cool. As you leave the infield Christmas Village, you get to drive through the last portion of the lights display, which honestly, was my personal favorite. You will come across an area where you can pull off and look over all the lights, which was really neat to see.

You will also go through several light tunnels. The tunnels were done so well, and each one is unique in shape and color display. You also get to see some really unique animated and stationary light displays! Our favorites were the two astronauts, a ballerina pig, and a snowman being built through animation.

The entire light show took us around 45 minutes to drive through if you choose not to stop at the Christmas Village.

Full view of Speedway Christmas in Charlotte, North Carolina

The Christmas Village at the Speedway

Once you go through the bulk of the park, you will be guided to the infield parking lot. Here, you have the option to stop at the Christmas Village and/or see the drive-in movie playing.

The Christmas Village has a lot to do! The arches of lights, giant illuminated snowflakes, and “snow bubbles” that release a puff of smoke when they pop were some of my young daughter’s favorites. They also have a really cool FREE 360-camera experience for 2023. Your family stands on a platform as a camera zooms around you three times, giving you a unique holiday memory to enjoy! 

Large outdoor light displays at the Christmas Village at Speedway Christmas

Indoor Activities: Santa and More

The indoor section of the Christmas Village has two unique mazes, Christmas crafts at the elf village, vendors, decorated Christmas trees, and the opportunity to take photos with Santa. Santa was really kind, and your child can choose to stand or sit beside him. They even offer a little stool in case a parent needs to kneel down to keep their kids from getting nervous before rattling off this Christmas list. Pictures with Santa start at $10 for 1 photo.

Outdoor Food Court

The food truck lane has a lot of vendors with everything from Gyros to hot apple cider. One of the cooler food court stalls is the kettlecorn popcorn guy. My kids (and husband) enjoyed watching him flip the giant popcorn maker and reveal the sweet goodness that is delicious kettle corn. Plus, his stall has a little train engine on top that blows smoke every once in a while, which made us giggle.

We ended our food court adventure by purchasing some marshmallows to roast by the fire. We rocked in the rocking chairs, ate marshmallows drank cider, and just enjoyed the vibes. Afterwards, we visited the reindeer (animated, but so adorable!) for the kids to pet. They are super soft and look so real!

Reindeer at Speedway Christmas Village

Drive-In Movie

And then, perhaps my favorite thing – a drive-in movie. The Speedway makes use of one of its huge screens to show different holiday movies. You can park your car facing the screen, tune your radio to the channel dedicated to the movie, eat some popcorn, and watch the movie. My kids wanted to sit in the car and watch the film so that’s what I let them do because #Christmas. They thought it was really neat.

Drive-in movie at the Speedway Christmas

Here’s the movie schedule for 2023:

  • November 17-19: “Christmas Vacation”
  • November 23-26: “The Grinch” presented by Bojangles
  • November 30-Dec 3: Classic Christmas shorts presented by Food Lion
  • December 7-10: “White Christmas” presented by Cook Out
  • December 14-19: “Elf” presented by AutoBell
  • December 20-23: “Polar Express” presented by Cook Out
  • December 28-31: “Home Alone”

There are also bathrooms right inside the Christmas Village as well as directly next to the drive-in movie, which is really nice since the route does take a while to drive.

The Christmas Village is closed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.


Tips to Enjoy the Speedway Christmas

Knowing what to expect helps everyone enjoy the lights.

Wait Times

Because this is such a hugely popular attraction, the wait may be long. This can be said of most holiday light events anywhere during the holiday season. Make sure everyone has taken a bathroom break before heading towards the Speedway and have snacks on hand. In past years, the wait times have gotten up to more than two hours.

We went on opening night for the 2023 season right when they opened at 6 pm and while we were able to skip the lines with an Express Lane pass thanks to Explore Cabarrus, we did pass the main entrance and there was hardly a line.

On busy nights, the express pass will save you about an hour of that two-hour wait. The Express Lane has a different entrance (5197 Morehead Road, Concord) than the Main Gate and there are signs indicating where you need to go.

Visiting Monday through Wednesday is suggested because attendance will be at its lowest on those days.

Bathrooms

The Speedway has set up port-a-potties along the route for guests to use if they need to. You do need to remain in your car while driving but there is plenty of room to pull over for these bathrooms if you need. You will also find clean bathrooms at the Christmas Village.

Pets

Pets are allowed but they must stay in your car the entire time, including if you choose to visit the Christmas Village

Purchasing Tickets

Guests have the option to purchase tickets ahead of time online at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s website but they also have passes available at the gate. The tickets you purchase online must be used on the date you choose so if you’re not sure when you’re going, you can just purchase your ticket at the gate. Stay tuned to the website to be notified of any closures due to bad weather.

Dress for the Weather

The light show obviously happens during the colder winter months so dress for the weather with jackets, hats, and gloves, especially if you want to go to the Christmas Village, much of which is outdoors.


Tickets for Speedway Christmas

Ticket prices range from $35-$45 per car depending on when you go. General admission tickets are typically $35 Monday through Wednesday, and $45 Thursday through Sunday night are more expensive.

On Thursdays through Sundays, there is also an express lane option for $75. If you have more than 15 people in your vehicle, you’ll be paying the van and bus rate of $140 to $175.

You can see the exact price on the day you’d like to go at the Speedway Lights ticket site.

While Monday through Wednesday visits are cheaper, remember that the Christmas Village is not open on these days. The exception is December 18th through the 20th, 2023 when the village will be open and tickets will be at the regular $45 price.

Speedway Christmas runs from Friday, November 17, 2023, through January 7th, 2024.


Honest Mom Review of Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights

My kids and I just loved this light show. It was almost overwhelming how many lights there were at the Speedway Christmas. I kept thinking, “How long did all of this take to set up?”! It is very well done and obvious the organizers take great pride in the light display and making sure it’s top-notch.

Part of the Christmas Village at the Speedway Christmas

For kids who may have sensory issues, the light show may be a little much in some parts. I thought the Christmas Village and drive-in movie was a great rest stop to just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere before heading out to the last part of the show. And staying nearby at the Embassy Suites was fantastic. I didn’t need to worry about driving home late at night and my kids could enjoy the pool before bed. We were at the light show in its entirety – driving and the Christmas Village – about an hour and a half total.


Cabarrus, North Carolina

We think spending a day in Cabarrus, North Carolina is a great day trip. We’ve had several of our writers spend a lot of time there and have stories on some of the fun things to do in Cabarrus County, NC.  You can spend the day there or make it a weekend with a stay in the Great Wolf Lodge, another favorite destination for us, here at Kidding Around.  Regardless of the length of your trip, we think the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s light display should be on your itinerary.


Lodging in Concord near the Speedway

Embassy Suites in Concord

Explore Cabarrus sent us to stay at the lovely Embassy Suites in Concord in 2022 right off I-85 and five minutes from the Speedway. I’ve stayed at Embassy Suites in the past and always like them for their spacious rooms, free breakfasts, and great amenities.

The room we had was a one-bedroom suite with a living space area, full bathroom, and a bedroom with a closed door. The beds were comfortable and there was plenty of space for my two kids and I. But this could easily fit a family of five even since the couch in the living space area is a pullout.

Embassy Suites Concord, NC Pool

The free breakfast in the morning was a hit with my kids. They had pancakes, eggs, French toast, yogurt, cereal, toast, biscuits and gravy, fruit, and a made-to-order omelet and waffle station. They also had coffee, tea, and juice.

This Embassy Suites also had a heated indoor pool, which my kids enjoyed after we went to the light show. It was a great way to wind down the night.

Homewood Suites By Hilton Concord/Charlotte

For our visit in 2023, Explore Cabbarus sent us to Homewood Suites by Hilton, located right beside the Embassy Suites. This lovely hotel is located right off of 1-85 and is only a 5-minute drive from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights. It is also close to tons of options for dining.

The hotel check-in was a breeze, and all the staff we interacted with were extremely helpful and kind. Our room was very clean, and even smelled good when we entered (that is always a good sign!) Our room was a suite, with a kitchen and living room, with a separate bedroom with double queen beds. The separate bedroom really helped us out because were able to put the kids down to bed, and then rest in the living room. We were very happy that the hotel was clean, quiet, and close to everything we would need.

The hotel offers free breakfast in the morning, which my husband took full advantage of. We had fresh waffles from the “make your own” waffle station, a mix of fruit, sausage patties, delicious muffins, cheesy omelets, orange juice, and fresh coffee.

Homewood Suites Concord

Other Lodging

If you need another place to stay near the Speedway, you can see the map below. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

There’s a lot to do in Concord and the Speedway Christmas show is a great way to end a day or weekend trip to Cabarrus County!

Have you made it out to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas lights? What was your favorite part?


Places to see Christmas lights in Charlotte, North Carolina

Want more lights? We have that!

Here are more than 10 places to see awesome Christmas Lights in Charlotte, NC!


50+ Best Family Games: (2023) Parent-Tested Games Everyone Can Play

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Will you be looking for the best family games? We have gathered over 50 of the best family board games 2023 has to offer, so add these to your gift list! If you’ve exhausted your stash of family board or card games and need new ideas of things to do with your whole family, we’ve surveyed our readers for the best games for family game night. We discovered that our readers seem to be quite the board/card game experts! We took their advice and then added a few board game ideas of our own.

Best family games: board game addition

We looked specifically for games that everyone can play, including our little kids who can’t read yet. So here’s the massive list and short, product descriptions taken from the game itself. We also added our own thoughts on some games we really loved. Then, we added some tips on how to plan a family game night! Check off your gift list for the holiday, with many games having Black Friday board game deals!

In this family board game list you’ll find:

  • best family board games
  • favorite family card games
  • ideas for family game night
  • easy to learn games
  • strategy games for the family
  • games for families to play together, no matter the age range
  • board games for kids by age

If we missed your favorite board game to play with your family, let us know in the comments. 

Some products from Think Fun and Ravensburger were provided for the Kidding Around Team to review. Opinions expressed are those of our team members.
This list contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Family board games

Top Tips for Establishing a Family Game Night

  • Be consistent. Having a specific day and time that works for everyone will help make it a routine.
  • Designate a family member to plan a game night. This can be for every game night or switch off each time.
  • Turn off the tech! Put the phones on silent, turn off the TV, and tune in to your family game night!
  • Always have a backup game (or two) available. Especially when trying out a new game. This will help you see what everyone is interested in for future gameplay.
  • Bring out the snacks! Craft a kid-friendly charcuterie, break out the hot cocoa, whatever will keep your kid’s tummies full and happy while you play.
  • Most importantly, relax and have fun! When everyone is having a good time, then everyone is more likely to want to engage again next time.

Best Family Games For Families With Young Kids

Babies and Toddlers

While babies and toddlers aren’t really ready for traditional board games, they can still get in on the fun with some help from older siblings, parents, and friends!

My First Railway Light Up Rainbow Set

This simple train set uses sound and light-up colors to teach simple sequencing. To play just watch the blinking lights and drive the train on the path that lit up. Do this for each color of the rainbow and then you get a song and lights reward. While this game is marked for children 18 months and up, younger kids may still enjoy the blinking lights and sounds when they use the set with a caregiver.

My First Railway Light Up Rainbow Set


Great Family Games for Families With Kids Ages 3+

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel

Your forest friends are hungry and they need your help. Spin the spinner, squeeze the matching colored acorn with your squirrel squeezer, and place it into your log. Be the first to fill your log with delicious acorns and you win. You could also spin “pick an acorn, ” “steal an acorn, ” or “lose an acorn, ” so be strategic, little squirrel. The game is easy to understand, so my four year old enjoys playing it more than some other games. It is currently one of our favorite family board games.

Teh Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
Sneaky Snacky Squirrel

Sequence

It’s the classic game of Sequence made just for kids! Play an animal card from your hand, and place your chip on the corresponding animal on the board. Wild cards add excitement to the game – use a unicorn card to place your chip anywhere, or use a dragon card to remove an opponent’s chip. The first player with four chips in a row wins! This exciting strategy game helps develop logical thinking skills. Reading is not required to play

Crazy Eights

Classic card game. Easy to play for kids.

Candy Land

This adorable version of the classic Candy Land game features gingerbread men as movers, colored cards, and fun illustrations that kids love, with different destinations like Cookie Commons and the chunky Chocolate Mountain. Candy Land is one of the classic favorite board games for families, and a wonderful introductory game for kids.

Chutes & Ladders 

Climb up and slide down in the exciting game of ups and downs, Chutes and Ladders! The Chutes and Ladders board game for girls and boys has been around for over 60 years and has been enjoyed by families for generations. Players can see the square marked 100, but how will they get there? If a player lands their pawn on a good deed, they can shimmy up a ladder, but land on the wrong spot and they’ll shoot down a chute!

No reading is required to play this simple and easy game for preschoolers. 

Family Treasure Hunt Game

GoTrovo is an action-packed pirate scavenger hunt board game for the whole family.

Hi Ho Cherry O

Preschoolers can have so much fun picking fruit to fill their baskets, that they don’t even realize they’re practicing math skills, such as counting, addition, and subtraction. Players choose from two different play options and take turns picking pretend cherries, blueberries, apples and oranges from their tree. If the spinner lands on a bird or a dog players will have to return cherries to their tree.

Pete the Cat Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat is the coolest cat ever. Based on the best-selling book series, our Pete the Cat games introduce kids to simple learning concepts wrapped up in fun games. Kids learn color recognition, counting, and decision-making skills. Kids keep on movin’ and groovin’ with Pete the Cat.


Family Games for Kids Ages 4+

Hoot Owl Hoot

Hurry little owls: In this color-coordinated matching game, players cooperate to help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up. Help all the owls home before sunrise and everyone wins!

“A friend just got my 3 year old this game! Fun for the whole family to play together. Highly recommend this one!” ~Amanda

Zingo

Zingo is one of ThinkFun’s most popular and bestselling games, and is the winner of an Oppenheim Gold Award and Parents’ Choice Gold Award, among others. It’s a fun pre-reading game for ages 4 and up. Like all of ThinkFun’s games, Zingo is built to develop critical thinking skills. Playing will improve language skills through fun and fast-paced play.

Zingo numbers bingo

Zingo Sight Words
Zingo Numbers

Banana Blast

Roll the die to see how many bananas you get to pick from the tree top. One of the bananas will make Banana Joe jump, but it’s a different banana every time. If the monkey jumps, all the players must try to catch him before he hits the ground. The player who catches Banana Joe gets a bonus!

Pop the Pig

Pop the Pig is an international preschool classic that is adored by millions of children. Kids roll the die, pop a hamburger into the pig’s mouth and pump his head. The more they pump, the more his belly grows (along with the suspense!) until – pop! The player who makes his belly burst wins the game.

Children can quickly reset the game with one pump of the pig’s head and experience consistent belly-busting gameplay each and every time.

Trouble 

The excitement begins as soon as a player presses the Pop-O-Matic bubble to roll the die. In the Trouble board game, kids race to get all their game pieces around the board; but be careful! A player could get bumped and sent back to the beginning.

Hungry Hungry Hippos

You’ll have a chompin’ good time with Hungry Hippo and his pals! Be ready to join in the feeding frenzy when you release all the marbles onto the game base, because all the hippos will be chomping and your hippo will need to move fast! If he chomps the golden marble, you win! 

Giggle Wiggle

Giggle Wiggle is a cute caterpillar with several hands to spare! Race to place your colored marbles from his bottom row of hands all the way to the top as he wiggles to the music. Watch out – this wiggly caterpillar will try to knock off your marbles. If he does, just pick them up and keep on racing. The first player to get all their marbles on in a row wins! This easy-to-learn, quick-to-play game is a fun, active challenge that will have kids laughing and dancing while they play.

Funny Bunny

Funny Bunny is an adorable game that is perfect for ages 4 and older. 2 to 4 players can race their bunnies up the hill to the giant carrot on top. Players are given four bunnies, and increasingly add them to the board as they draw cards to allow them a number of spaces to move. However, there are “click” cards that allow the player to turn the giant carrot clockwise, which opens pits, lifts bridges, or knocks your bunny off the board! As you move around the board, you can “hop” over other players. This game was highly enjoyed by my preschooler.

Funny Bunny


Best Family Games We Love for Kids Ages 5+

Monopoly Junior

Welcome to the first Monopoly game for kids, where they can earn money the fun way! The Monopoly Junior game is just like the classic Monopoly game, but it’s accessible and exciting for younger players. It’s fast, simple, and full of surprises. Kids choose their favorite Junior token and learn how to pass Go, buy properties, and collect rent. Single banknotes keep transactions fast and easy.

Dragon’s Breath

Dragons and crystal collecting, who could ask for more? This collecting game is part of the wonderful line of board games by HABA. The game follows a family of dragons as they try to get the most gems out of the ice-filled rings by choosing a color gem. Then, Dad Dragon “melts” the ice by removing gems, allowing the gems to fall from the tower to be collected by the kids. The goal is to gather the most gems. The game is engaging and imaginative while lasting around 15 minutes per play, and is the perfect game for family night.

Dragons Breath game

Pumbaa Pass

Any Lion King fan will love this new, exciting, and fun family game featuring a very hungry Pumbaa! Pumbaa’s ready for some tasty grub—icky bugs to you and me! Players take turns feeding him the colorful critters until, well, he tosses his cookies, loses his lunch—you know, pukes. Then it’s time to scramble to find the bugs you need to win! To win Be the first player to match all three bugs on three different leaf cards. 

“Not a board game but got this for our 3yo for his birthday, great for colors, matching and early counting.” ~ Scott

Race to the Treasure

In this game, which has won multiple awards including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, players try to beat the Ogre to the treasure by creating a path from Start to End. Along the way they need to collect three keys to open the treasure. Players strategize, cooperate and build a path together. If they do it before the Ogre gets there, they all win! 

Scrabble Jr.

What a great way for kids to play America’s favorite word game! Kid-sized words and colorful pictures make it fun to match letter tiles to words on the grid. Players move their funny tokens up the score track as they score points. When all of the tiles have been placed on the board, the player with the most points wins! Don’t worry, your little ones won’t outgrow this game; just turn the board over for the advanced level, where they come up with their own words. It’s going to be letter-matching fun for everyone with Scrabble Junior. 

The Grape Escape

This Play-Doh-based game allows players to create their grape character with clay, and then try to make it through the board game and past the factory contraptions to the grape launcher without getting squished in the process. The key to the game is to get your grape to the launcher and fling it out of the factory first. This game is perfect for ages 5 and up and is quick-paced so it can be played multiple times during family game night.


Great Games for Kids Around Ages 6+

Connect 4

Challenge a friend to disc-dropping fun with the classic game of Connect 4! Drop your red or yellow discs in the grid and be the first to get 4 in a row to win. If your opponent is getting too close to 4 in a row, block them with your own disc! Whoever wins can pull out the slider bar to release all the discs and start the fun all over again! 

Guess Who

Beloved 1980s version of the classic mystery face game is back! There’s a mystery person on your opponent’s card. Can you find the matching face in the crowd? Start with your game full of silly-looking characters. Then ask the right questions to eliminate the wrong faces! Does your person have blue eyes? Is your person wearing a hat? Once you’re down to a face or two – solve the mystery by guessing who! If you’re the first to identify your opponent’s mystery person, you win.

“It’s not a board game per say, but we play Guess Who a lot. We team up, since my 3 year old needs a little help, but she’s getting pretty good at it!” ~Jennifer

Sorry

Slide, collide and score to win the Sorry! Game. Kids draw cards to see how far they get to move one of the pawns on the board. If they land on a Slide they can zip to the end and bump their opponents’ pawns – or their own! Jump over pawns and hide in the Safety zone where opponents can’t go. Kids keep on moving and bumping until they get all three of their pawns from Start to Home.

Operation

In the Operation game, you get to be the doctor and make Cavity Sam better or get the buzzer! Cure him of all his wacky ailments like headphone headaches and gamer’s thumb by picking funny ailment pieces out of the game tray with a pair of tweezers. But watch out! If you touch the sides of the openings, you’ll get the buzzer and light up Cavity Sam’s nose! The player who removes the most ailments wins!

Spot It!

Test your observational skills and your reflexes with the award-winning gameplay of Spot It!, a game of lightning-fast choices for two to eight players. With dozens of awards and possible versions married to elegant gameplay, Spot It! has become a global phenomenon. Five distinct mini-games within a set of Spot It! ensure that the game will be different every time you play, and because it’s always your turn, there’s never any downtime.

Aggravation

Take a trip down memory lane with this retro 1989 edition of the fun family-favorite, the Aggravation Game! It’s The classic marble race game where 2 to 6 players compete. Opponents race around the board from base to home, disrupting each other’s marbles in the quest to be first. 

Ticket to Ride: First Journey

Players of all ages can now venture across America by train in Alan R. Moon’s ticket to ride: first journey. With a brand new map and simplified rules, first journey is the perfect way to introduce new players to the game of cross-country travel while you claim train route. Just like in ticket to ride, players collect train cards, claim routes, and try to connect cities coast-to-coast. In first journey, though, routes are shorter, train cards are drawn straight from the deck, and the game ends when one player Completes six tickets, claiming the Golden ticket as their prize. Ticket to Ride: First Journey is a wonderful starter game when delving into the Spiel des Jahres board game world.

Munchkin Wonderland

One of the many versions of the Steven Jackson Games Munchkin, this version is simplified so that kids as young as 6 can play! This card game is based on Alice in Wonderland and is full of silly jokes, treasure hunting, monster bashing, and more. The game takes about an hour to play and is great for groups of 2 to 6 players. The game is a lot of fun, and is a great starter game if you are looking to get your kids into the Munchkin universe in the future (I know we are!).


Games for Families With Kids Ages 7+

Battleship

This Battleship board game is the classic game of naval combat that brings together competition, strategy, and excitement! In a head-to-head battle, 2 players search for the enemy’s fleet of ships and destroy them one by one. With convenient portable battle cases and realistic-looking naval crafts, the Battleship game puts players right in the middle of the action. Players command a powerful fleet that includes an aircraft carrier, a destroyer, a submarine, a patrol boat, and a battleship. Each player announces the coordinates of each strike and sees if it hits. Battleship still holds its own in comparison to some of the more modern board games, and is truly a classic.

Blink

Blink is a lightning-fast game where two players race head-to-head to be the first to play all of their cards! Using sharp eyes and fast hands, players quickly try to match the shape, count or color on the cards. For instance, a card with four yellow stars could be played on any card with yellow (color), or on a card with stars (shape), or on a card with four symbols (count). Don’t be fooled by the games’ simplicity—your hand and eye coordination will be put to the test! The first player who can rid themselves of all their cards wins. 

Blokus

Stake your claim and protect your territory with the Blokus game! It takes less than a minute to learn, but offers endless strategy and fun challenges for the whole family. Each player gets a set of 21 pieces – in red, blue, green, or yellow – then takes turns placing them on the board. There’s just one rule: each piece you play must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but only at the corners! The goal is to fit the most pieces on the board. The game ends when no more pieces can be placed down, and the player with the lowest number remaining wins!

Labyrinth

Search for treasure deep within the twisting maze! The playing board constantly changes so no two games are ever the same! The cards will determine your quest. Looking for the Dragon? How many routes can you take and also foil your opponents? Try to gain the advantage by inserting the extra tile to move walls and open passages of the labyrinth. Block and advance is the strategy! The first play to reach all of their treasure wins!

“We love labyrinth. Our 5-year-old can play but needs help occasionally. My 10 and 8-year-olds really enjoy trying to beat Mom and Dad.” ~Kristen

Disney Villian Labyrinth

Labyrinth is my family’s absolute favorite board game. This version replaces the original Labyrinth characters and objects with all of your favorite Disney villains. You use the tile pieces to create a random maze on the game board. Each player has a set of cards with characters that they need to collect on their journey through the maze. The maze changes as each player takes their turn, keeping everyone on their toes.

Disney Villains Labyrinth is a 2-4 player game recommended for ages 7-99.

Taco vs. Burrito

TACO vs. BURRITO is a deliciously unpredictable card game where players compete to create the weirdest, wildest meal. Created by Alex Butler, age 7, this game is easy to learn – and not so easy to win. Fun for (and play-tested by) all ages, TACO vs. BURRITO is the ultimate Game Night Food Fight! The game is one of our favorite party games when we have younger family members over.

Sequence Dice

Roll the dice and place a chip on a corresponding number on the game board. Roll a 2 or 12 ….get another turn. Roll a 10…remove an opponent’s chip. Roll an 11…place your chip on any number. Get 5 chips in a row and YOU WIN!

Skip-Bo

Skip-Bo is the ultimate sequencing card game from the makers of UNO! Players use skill and strategy to create stacks of sequentially numbered, ascending cards (2,3,4…) until they have no more left to play. Once everyone is dealt their own personal stockpile of cards, play begins by drawing from a central pile and building up to four “build” piles. The Skip-Bo “wild” cards break up static situations and may be played as any number. Use these cards wisely, for they can really help you beat your opponents! The first player to deplete all of his or her Skip-Bo stockpile cards is the winner!.

UNO

UNO is the classic family card game that’s easy to pick up and impossible to put down! Players take turns matching a card in their hand with the current card shown on top of the deck either by color or number. Special action cards, like Skips, Reverses, Draw Twos, color-changing Wild and Draw Four Wild cards, deliver game-changing moments as they each perform a function to help you defeat your opponents. If you can’t make a match, you must draw from the center pile. And when you’re down to one card, don’t forget to shout “UNO!” The first player to get rid of all the cards in their hand wins. 

UNO DOS
We at UNO have long believed that two is better than one, and now we’re making it official! If you like UNO, you’ll love UNO DOS! In the beloved card game UNO, you (or your team) are trying to be the first to score 500 points. You score points by being the first to get rid of all the cards in your hand, and action cards let you make things more difficult for your opponents. In this twist on the family favorite game, now when you’re down to two cards, don’t forget to yell “Dos!” See why this color-coded card game has been a hit for so many years.


Best Family Games: Best for Ages 8+

Life

In The Game of Life game players choose a path and move their car tokens around the gameboard from Start to Retirement. Who is headed for wealth and fortune? Pick a path for a life of action, unexpected surprises, and dream vacations, but spend cash wisely because the wealthiest player at the end wins the game.

Rack-O

Rack-o was originally released in 1956, and since then families have enjoyed this Rack’Em & score fun-filled card game. This new addition, featuring fine-quality cards with bold numbers, will delight players young and old. Rack-o is timeless fun. Players randomly slot 10 cards on their rack. The race then begins to draw and discard until one player positions 10 cards in numerical sequence from low to high. 

Quixx

This quick-playing dice game will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end! Qwixx is simple to play but each decision is crucial – the more numbers you cross off, the more points you score. With no downtime between turns you’ll have a chance to gain from each and every roll. Just one round of this thrilling game and you will be caught up in Qwixx-fever!

SKYJO

The goal is to collect as few points as possible over the course of several turns as after every round every player’s points are counted and added to his score. As soon as a player reaches 100 points or more the player with the fewest points wins. Collecting the fewest points means to look for low or even negative numbers.

Rummikub

With more than 55 million units sold, Rummikub is one of the world’s best-selling and most-played games! It’s really no surprise that Rummikub is so popular – it has all the elements that make a great game: it’s easy to learn and fast moving, it’s different every time it’s played, it combines luck and strategy, and it changes quickly so every player has a chance to win until the very end.

Think Fun Rush Hour

My family went on a lot of road trips when I was a kid, and my brothers and I loved playing this game to keep ourselves entertained. Rush Hour is a logic game that uses cars and trucks on a grid to create a puzzle. Challenge cards are included to show you how to set up the puzzle. The goal of the game is to free the red car from the traffic jam. 

Rush Hour is a 1 person game recommended for ages 8+.

Rush Hour

GeoLogic

Geologic is a one-person world-changing puzzle game. With 60 challenges from beginner to expert, this game is fun for the whole family. The game is recommended for ages 8+ but my 7 year old was able to complete the beginner challenges.

Geologic includes a 30 sided Planet Core and 14 biome tiles. The challenge cards show a picture of how to set up the Planet Core to begin and has a list of which tiles are needed to complete the puzzle. The back of the cards show the answer to the puzzle.

If you’re a fan of logic puzzles, this game is for you!

Geologic

Gravity Maze

This game is just for one person and has three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The player has to arrange towers of holes and slides to get the marble to the target square. It comes with a gray board and three marbles in case you lose some of your marbles. Don’t do that. 

So how it works is that you choose what level you want to complete and take a card the game provides. On the front of the card is the gray board and it has the colors and placement of the red target block and one other color block that is used in the puzzle. On the bottom are the colors of the other blocks used in that particular puzzle – the trick is that you need to figure out where to place the other blocks in order that the marble slides to the target, red block successfully. If you Google how to play the game, ThinkFun has a YouTube video that explains it better than I am.

We played this with kids ages 8, 9, and 11 years old and they all loved it. I tried it also as an adult and it’s fantastic because it’s one of those games where you have to focus on the puzzle and nothing else. Gravity Maze is especially great for kids who like to play by themselves, for kids who love problem-solving, and for kids who are probably future engineers.


Do a Puzzle Together! Family Puzzles Kids Love

Puzzles are great for kids, teens, and adults because everyone can work on them together. So, these puzzles are getting their own category.

Ravensburger Star Wars The Madalorian Puzzle

This Ravensburger Mandalorian Star Wars Puzzle is great for any Star Wars fan, even the hard-to-buy for teens. The high-quality pieces fit together easily. The whole family can enjoy putting this one together!

Minecraft Ravensburger Puzzle

The puzzle has 300 XL puzzle pieces and will create a picture of a Minecraft scene. It says that the puzzle is for ages 9+ but younger kids who are good at puzzles will have no problems putting the puzzle together. The puzzle pieces are pretty large and fit together perfectly. They are also smooth and easy to handle – I don’t know why I like this but I do. 

If you enjoy both puzzles and Minecraft, you’ll love this one.


Games for Teens: Family Games Teens Will Love

Escape the Room: Murder in the Mafia

If you are feeling bored with some of your usual games, then you should check out an escape room game! ThinkFun’s Escape the Room games are essentially escape rooms in a box. They come cleverly assembled in the box in such a way that you only have to follow a few simple instructions to pop the room up before you’re ready to start looking for clues and playing the game.

Murder in the Mafia is ThinkFun’s newest Escape the Room game, and it’s designed for ages 14 and up, and 1 to 3 players. Solve the office crime scene clues to find the murderer before they find you. This is a cooperative game and there really is no limit on the number of players. But more than 3 people may have some difficulty crowding around the room to find evidence and solve clues. My kids ages 9-14 all participated with my husband and I and we all enjoyed this one.

Throughout the game the story booklet guides you through each chapter as you solve the clues, and see if you can determine who is the murderer. And if you get stuck you can go online for additional clues and assistance.

While other escape room games require you to mark up or cut up game materials, ThinkFun Escape the Room games can be reset to be played again. While you might not want to play it again as you already will know the solution, the game can be passed on for someone else to enjoy.

Additional ThinkFun Escape the Room titles include:

EXIT Games

Another fun version of an escape room board game are EXIT games. You can spread these materials out and a larger group can work to solve these games. Clues are on cards, in booklets, and hidden in the strangest places. The card and solution wheel systems help you get hints if you’re stuck and also guide you from clue to clue. These games can only be played once as solving them often requires cutting or marking up game pieces, but they are worth it for a fun afternoon with family and friends.

EXIT Games: The Abandoned Cabin

Echoes: Audio Mystery Game

Download a free app for Echoes: Audio Mystery Game and use it to scan the cards and listen to the audio hints. Put them together in the right sequence to unlock each chapter with additional story clues. Finally, use the clues to put the story into the right order. This one is a great family teamwork game. The sounds are a little creepy, and the clues require listening carefully. But don’t worry if you get lost, the app can give you clues if you’re stuck!

Wingspan

Wingspan is such a fun game to play if you have a nature lover or even just a teenager who loves strategy as they build their flock of birds. We played the original game, which came with North American birds, each with a quick fact on the bottom of the card that had me geeking out a little. If you like the game, you can buy different expansion packs for birds around the world.

The game has you focus on your own flock of birds, so there is less of a direct competition between players, though, of course, you want to earn points and have the most by the end of the game. The ultimate goal of the game is to have the most points, and you can gain those points by laying eggs, drawing new birds, and gathering food. Plus, you get to roll the dice through an awesome cardboard-built birdhouse that is provided.

Munchkin

A classic deck card game in our home that has been played at least 100 times over the years is Munchkin. It’s an awesome game with silly classes, monsters you’re trying to defeat, and a lot of strategy against your opponents. With curses, combats against monsters, and the opportunity to take your opponent down, there is a lot going on as you try to reach your 10 points.

The cards are the absolute best because they are hilarious and weird. With item cards like “Boots of running really fast” and “pointy hat of power”, your kids will love the silliness. There are some pretty great pictures too. Plus, they get to defeat monsters (or be killed by one if they can not defeat it, but that’s where you can come in to help save their character).

The game is recommended for ages 10 and up and can accommodate 3-6 players, with an average playtime of 1.5 hours. Munchkin has tons of additions, expansion packs, and options to make it creative and more fun over time, so you will never get bored!

What’s your family’s favorite board or card game to play together?


Educational Gifts for kids, and educational gifts for Christmas

Check out these 31+ Educational Gifts so you can put a new skill under the Christmas tree this year!


Huge Catawba Science Center is a Fun Day Trip in Hickory, NC

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The Catawba Science Center in Hickory, NC has so much to explore! See animals, build, learn about physics, space, gardens and more! We checked it out and have all the information you need to enjoy a fun day here as a day trip from Greenville, SC, or Charlotte, NC, or anywhere in between!

Catawba Science Center

Ever since I got my Roper Mountain Science Center membership, I’ve started planning day trips and homeschool field trips according to where my family can get in for free or half-price using the reciprocal membership benefits. The Catawba Science Center in Hickory, NC was on the list so that’s where we went. 

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Ride a Carousel & Train: Village Park in Kannapolis, NC

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Have you visited Village Park in Kannapolis, NC? Not only does this park have two amazing playgrounds and multiple picnic shelters, but you’ll also find North Carolina’s only double-decker carousel lit with 1800 lights! As if that weren’t enough, the park also has a real miniature train that families can ride around the park. Tickets for the carousel and train are very inexpensive. Topping all that off is a free holiday light display and seasonal events. We loved our visit to Village Park in Kannapolis and we have all the information for you!

Carousel at Village Green Park

Village Park Carousel

Manufactured in Italy, this carousel is the only double-decker carousel in North Carolina. It features over 1,800 lights, hand-painted murals, and traditional carousel music. The classic carousel is set beside a green space as you enter the park in its own covered shelter, making this park feel whimsical and inviting.

Tickets to ride the carousel at Village Park are $1.50.

Think your kids are too big? Think again. Even my preteens enjoyed a whirl on this carousel.

Village Park train

Village Park Train

The train shed at Village Park is located across from the carousel. From there, families can hop on board the rotary express train and ride around the park, past the splash pad, both playgrounds, and across the paved and shaded walking paths. The train is a g-24 scale replica CP Huntington engine.

Tickets to ride the rail at Village Park are $1.50. The train hours are seasonal, running weekends April through mid-October and daily in the summer. Find exact hours on the Kannapolis Parks website.

Purchase tickets for both the train and the carousel at the exterior window of the main building at the park’s entrance.

Village Park Playground

City of Kannapolis, Village Park Playgrounds

Climb high, bounce, swing, and slide at both of Village Park’s playgrounds. Located side by side, one playground is intended for the 5 and under crowd, while the other is meant for older kids. We loved the climbing options and long slides at this park!

Paved Walking Trails

Taking a walk or a run? The paved walking trails at Village Park and connected to other trails in the area could be just the right place for you. You can take the 2-mile loop between Village Park and Bakers Creek Park on the 8th Street Greenway and the Bakers Creek Greenway.

Greenway Trail Map

Free and Cheap Holiday Fun at Village Park in Kannapolis

We love FREE and low-cost holiday fun, and Villiage Park is packed with it. They have a totally free holiday light display with thousands of lights! Walk through the displays at your own pace for a magical holiday experience. Check out the FREE Holiday Lights at Village Park.

Or, if you want to turn it up a notch, book tickets for the park’s holiday train, the Winterland Express! Tickets are $2 per person. Ride the train through the park’s lights and see them in a whole new way. End your evening with a ride on the two-story carousel for just $2 per person.

Tree Lighting Celebration for the Holiday Season

The Kannapolis tree lighting at Village Park is one of the park’s most exciting events of the year! Thousands gather throughout the park on Saturday evening before Thanksgiving to see the park illuminated by 250,000 lights strung through trees, along buildings, and adorning the Christmas tree in the green space of the park. To kick off the Celebration of Lights, there is an annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Kannapolis Tree Lighting Ceremony at Village Park

The Tree Lighting Ceremony

When the ceremony begins, various speakers say a little about the past year and the year that is to come. Then, the crowd is introduced to Santa Claus himself! As he counts down with the crowd, the large Christmas tree illuminates as the crowd hits 1, along with dozens of LED Christmas trees that surround to tree. This creates a gorgeous display of color, and the crowd begins to move and weave through the trees, now bright with the Christmas spirit!

Where to Gather Your Family for the Tree Lighting Ceremony

You can sit pretty much anywhere in the circumference of the tree to get a good view. If you plan to ride the carousel, train, or visit Santa right after the lighting, I would recommend standing toward the back closer to the lines for those activities. The lines grow long quickly, so anything you can do to get you closer to the front of the line, the better. The train lines seem to be the longest of the three attractions, so if that is on your holiday bucket list, stay close to that line during the tree lighting ceremony.

You can also choose to stand closer to the main stage area to hear the wonderful messages from community leaders. Here, your kids will get an up-close view of Santa as he greets the park! There are also a few carols sung, and you are best able to hear and enjoy the thrill of the countdown here (it’s a little hard to hear once you get closer to the tree). 

Fireworks 

My family’s favorite part of the tree lighting ceremony was hands down the fireworks that immediately preceded the lights. The fireworks rose into the sky behind and to the left of the main stage, so we were able to position ourselves so that the fireworks rose into the sky right above the Christmas tree.

The fireworks display lasted around 5 minutes and was a great way to start the celebration and helped stabilize the crowd movement for a few minutes. If you have little ones, be sure to bring ear protection (our two-year-old didn’t find the fireworks as thrilling as the rest of us).

Celebration of Lights

This free holiday light display in Village Park is daily from November 18th through December 30th, 2023. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 6 pm to 9 pm and Friday and Saturday 6 pm to 10 pm. The display will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

In addition to the lights, Santa will be on-site to visit with the kids every evening! Plus enjoy live holiday music, entertainment, crafts, and a miniature train display.

Celebration of Lights in Kannapolis, North Carolina

Here’s everything you need to know about Celebration of Lights at Village Park

Tickets for the Winterland Express and Carousel

Book your tickets in advance for the Winterland Express at the Celebration of Lights.

Carousel tickets can be purchased nightly on-site.

Places to see Christmas lights in Charlotte, North Carolina

Looking for more places to see Christmas lights? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s our list of more than 10 places to see Christmas lights near Charlotte, NC.

Kannapolis Holiday Events

Tree Lighting Ceremony: November 18th, 2023 6 pm in Village Park
Christmas Parade: December 19th, 2023 6 pm in Downtown Kannapolis

Downtown Kannapolis
Downtown Kannapolis, NC

Village Park, Kannapolis
700 West C Street, Kannapolis

10+ Things to Do While Exploring York County, South Carolina

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Are you looking for things to do in York, SC? We recently spent a few days exploring all that York County, South Carolina has to offer visitors and we found a lot! There’s something there no matter what your family enjoys doing. We discovered orchards, outdoor activities, and delicious food that we know you will enjoy. So, let us help you get ready for your next day trip to York, South Carolina!

Guide to visiting York County, South Carolina

We were the guests of VisitYorkCounty.com for the purpose of this guide to York County, SC. However, the words and opinions of our team member are honest and genuine. 

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Visit Farms and Win Prizes with the SC Agritourism Passport Program

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Looking for a fun way to explore our state’s different sources of plant- and animal-based products? The SC Agritourism Passport Program is an incentive program where people can earn free goodies for visiting places that are probably already on your to-do list! The good news is there are nearly two dozen farms not far from Greenville and Spartanburg. Visiting farms is more than a fun, family activity; it’s also a field trip-worthy educational opportunity! 

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