Charlotte, NC header

Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

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

Posted on |

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

Valentine’s Day Charlotte, NC (2024): The Premier Guide

Posted on |

Are you ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Charlotte, NC? Our 2024 Charlotte, NC Valentine’s Guide is full of ideas to help you celebrate. We have date ideas, restaurant suggestions, parent’s night out events for Valentine’s Day childcare, family things to do to celebrate, and lots more!



Valentine's Day Charlotte, NC

Fun Date Ideas

If you’re looking for something a little different for a date night this Valentine’s Day, check out our list of fun & unique date ideas in Charlotte, NC. We have more than 17 ideas to help you plan that no-so-ordinary date.

Our list even has some totally free ideas that really are fun. So, you can get out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, even if you’re on a tight budget.

Special Valentine’s Events

These events would make a great date night!

Valentine’s Paint & Plant at NoDa Brewing Company on January 30th, 2024: Paint a planter and pot your plant, while enjoying a favorite beverage.

Adult Valentine’s Day Cooking Class at Flour Power in Charlotte on February 2nd, 2024. Learn to make chocolate-covered strawberries, Chicken Marsala, and molten lava cakes.

French Macaroon Workshop at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen, from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm on February 9th, 2024.

Valentine’s Day Comedy Show at Cloudcheck Hookah&Daiquiri Bar on February 14th, 2024 at 10 pm.

Free Comedy Show at Pilot Brewing on February 14th, 2024 from 7 to 8:30 pm.

Romantic Restaurants in Charlotte, NC

If a nice meal out together is more your thing, check out our list of Romantic Restaurants in Charlotte. We have several fine-dining options on the list, plus a few more casual date-night restaurant ideas we love.

If we missed your favorite romantic restaurant, let us know! Pop over to our Kidding Around Charlotte Facebook page and send us a message. We want to hear all about why it’s your favorite!

Valentine’s Day in Charlotte with the Kids

Make a free Valentine’s Basket at the Home Depot Kids Workshop on February 3rd, 2024. Free event

Make a free Cactus Valentine’s Bag at JCPenney Kids Zone craft event on February 10th, 2024 at 11 am. Free event

SAS Cupcakes: Frost cupcakes, enjoy a story and a craft at SAS Cupcakes Valentine’s Story Time on February 9th at 10:30 am and February 10th at 10:30 am.

Confetē Soirée and Play in Huntersville is offering a Valentine event with cookie decorating and a craft, plus open play and snacks on Valentine’s Day February 14th at 10 am. The event is $20.

Watch! Our Valentine’s Ideas for a Family Celebration

We joined Fox Carolina, Access Carolina to talk about Valentine’s ideas for celebrating with the whole family.

Valentine’s Day Childcare: Parent’s Night Out

Parent’s Night Out Programs (also known as Kids’ Night Our Programs) are a great option if you need childcare to get a date night out. These events may not be exactly on February 14th, but you can pick one in February and celebrate a little early or a little late. You’ll likely avoid the restaurant crowds when you go this route anyway, which is pretty great in our opinion.

Flour Power in Charlotte, NC offers a Kids Night Out Program every other Friday. This cooking program includes dinner and dessert!

The Flour Power location in Fort Mill, SC also offers a Kids Night Program every other Friday.

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte offers several Kids Night Our Programs at its locations. You’ll find them arranged by age group on Fridays and some Saturdays. The program includes games, stories, crafts, and more. Current February options are on February 2nd, February 9th, February 10th, February 16th, and February 23rd. Cost and times vary by location but in general they are in the early evening hours and on average $40 for non-members and $30 for members.

The Mecklenburg County Recreation Depart sometimes offers Kids Night Out programs. Their February 16th Kids Night Out event is full, but keep them in mind for future events!

Perfect Balance Training Center in Charlotte offers a Parents Night Out program once a moth on Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 pm for both members and non-members. the event is $25 when you register in advance and includes pizza, a drink and gym time. The next event is on February 17th, 2024.

Life Time Charlotte offers lots of Parents Night Out options including a Valentine’s Day Party for kids ages 4 to 8 on February 10th, plus other themed nights including a painting party, tween takeover, and superhero event.

GymFit Sports Center is offering a parents night out program on February 10th at 6 pm. The cost is $40 ($30 for additional siblings) and includes dinner, a movie and bounce houses/trampolines.

Charlotte Martial Arts Academy is offering a Dodgeball Party Parent’s Night Out on February 24th, 2024 from 5 pm to 9 pm and the cost is $25.

Spend the Day: Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park in Belmont, NC

Posted on |

Are you thinking about a visit to Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park in Belmont, NC? With a recently updated playground and a beautiful riverfront location, this park has a lot to offer families and anyone who loves the outdoors. Put a kayak in the water, enjoy the wooden bench swings on the dock, or pack a picnic, whatever you choose you can make a full afternoon of fun out of your visit to Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park.

Playground at Riverfront Park in Belmont, NC

The Playground at Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park

The recently updated playground has a fun treehouse theme that my kids enjoyed, with lots of climbing structures and equipment for all ages. We absolutely love the solid ground cover and the ground-level equipment that make much of this playground accessible for all kids.

The playground is fully fenced, with a larger playground for older kids to one side, and a smaller climbing structure for younger kids on the other side. Swings take up the space in the middle.

Restrooms are conveniently located beside the playground just outside the fence and up the short path. You’ll also find a large pavilion here that can be rented out.

Playing at the playground, Riverfront Park in Belmont, NC

Picnic Spots

In addition to the large pavilion, there are two smaller picnic shelters that can be rented for your events in the park. They are spread out along the park’s sidewalk across from the playground with a view of the river through the trees.

Restrooms at Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park

If you don’t need a whole picnic shelter, there are several other spots where you can enjoy your picnic. Bring a blanket and spread it out on the grass beside the playground or head down to the dock and enjoy your meal from there.

View of the river at Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park

The Dock

The dock has both benches and wooden bench swings so there are plenty of places to sit, relax, and enjoy the view. When we visited this seemed to be one of the most popular spots in the park, and for good reason. It was quite beautiful and spacious.

If you like paddling, there is a wide dock where you can put a kayak, canoe, or even paddleboard to explore the river. Access to the Catawba River here is free.

More at Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park

This park also offers a short but paved walking trail that is accessible, perfect for taking in the river views after a bit of playtime or lunch. Plus, there’s an amphitheater for public events.

The annual event, RiverFest, is hosted annually in May at Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park with live music, kayaking, local vendors, food trucks, and more. In 2024, the event is scheduled for May 18th.

Swings at Riverfront Park

Village Park Kannapolis

Want to visit another awesome park? Check out Village Park in Kannapolis, NC.

Enjoy Winter in Charlotte, NC: The Premier Guide

Posted on |

Are you looking for things to do this winter in Charlotte, NC? Winter has arrived! That means it’s time for all the activities the cooler weather lets us enjoy, from winter hikes to snow tubing, great family dining to awesome indoor play places. We created our Kidding Around Charlotte Winter Guide to help you plan your family’s fun! No reason to stay home and be bored!

Charlotte, NC Winter Things to Do

Outdoor Things to Do This Winter: Charlotte, NC

Snow Tubing

The ultimate family-fun winter day, snow tubing. There are lots of places about a 2-hour drive from Charlotte where you can head for a day of winter fun on a snow tube.

Here’s our list of places to go snow tubing near Charlotte, NC.

Ice Skating

Charlotte’s Whitewater Center is the place to go for ice skating in the winter. They offer skating from mid-November through mid-February, making it a true winter season offering. Day tickets for skating are $25 and that includes the skate rental and use of the 24,000 square foot skating space. The ice is unlike other rinks and is made up of 4 distinct skating areas, connected by ice trails.

Ice skating at the Whitewater Center

Sledding

Even if there’s no snow on the ground in Charlotte (and let’s face it, there probably isn’t), you can still enjoy some free winter fun with a day of sledding. You’ll just have to drive into the mountains a bit. So toss those sleds in the car and grab the kids’ winter coats. It’s time to go find some snow.

❄️Here’s where to go sledding near Charlotte, NC.

Winter Hikes

Cooler weather can make for some much more enjoyable hiking conditions- less sweat, no humidity, and open views without leaves on the trees. There are places near Charlotte where you can enjoy a cooler weather hike or walk, and of course there are some fabulous day trip hikes you can take in the mountains.

Want to check out some of our winter hikes and see what you’re in for? We made a video for that, because these hikes are seriously gorgeous.

Indoor Things to Do This Winter: Charlotte, NC

Unwind Indoor Play Cafe

With a climbing wall, sandbox, and loads of sensory spaces, the Unwind Indoor Play Cafe is definitely a spot to check out for indoor play time. They even have snacks, coffee and other tdrinks available for purchase so you can make a whole afternoon of it.

Kidding Around Charlotte got to visit to review the play cafe, and we had a great time! Check it all out in our review: Unwind Indoor Play Cafe

Ninja Nation

Head up to Huntersville, NC for open gym time at Ninja Nation. Kids (and adults) can try out all their ninja skills on Ninja Nation’s course equipment in their super clean gym. We loved the friendly staff.

Here’s our full review of Ninja Nation.

Open Gym at Ninja Nation is for ages 5 and up. They offer open gym Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm, Monday through Thursday from 4 pm to 7 pm and Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Open gym prices start at $20 for an hour of gym time with options for 2 hours and a full day pass.
14120 Statesville Road Huntersville, NC 28078

Discovery Place Science Museum

Any Charlotte area indoor list would not be complete without Discovery Place. The kids (and adults) will enjoy playing and learning here for hours.

You’ll save a few dollars if you purchase your tickets online. If you plan to visit more than once, a family membership is probably the way to go.

Online ticket prices: $18-19 for children, $23-24 for adults (Children under 2 are free)
Buy tickets online
301 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte

Gibson Mill

Get everyone something to eat that they’ll love at the food hall at Gibson Mill. Hang around and play games or visit the small arcade for a little family fun.

Gibson Mill outdoor seating

Here’s our full review of Gibson Mill.

Still Need More Options?

Things to Do in Charlotte, NC

Discover lots more things to do in our HUGE Charlotte, NC Things to Do Guide

Unwind Indoor Play Cafe: This Indoor Playground Has a Giant Sandbox!

Posted on |

If you are looking for an epic indoor play place, then Unwind Indoor Play Cafe is an excellent idea for your next play day! The indoor playground in Pineville, NC has a play structure, ball pit, and several other sensory-enriching features that will keep your young kids busy while you enjoy something delicious from the cafe.

Unwind Indoor Play Cafe near Charlotte, North Carolina

Special thanks to Unwind Indoor Play Cafe for providing play passes for this review!

Check out these 20+ Things to Do Near Charlotte, NC to have some wonderful family fun!

Things to Do in Charlotte, NC

What to Expect at Unwind Indoor Play Cafe: Review

When you enter the play cafe, you’ll head straight to the counter to purchase your tickets and socks. If you have been before, you can bring along the socks from your first visit to save you a few bucks. The play area is open to kids 7 years old and younger, so keep that in mind before your visit.

At the counter, you can also purchase yummy snacks and treats while your kids get their wristbands and head through the gate to play. The entire play area is visible from the cafe area, or you can find a seat inside that’s comfortable.

The Playground Area

Let’s just say this playground is truly Instagram-worthy! The main playground features a climbing tunnel and twisty slide that my daughters loved going down over and over into the ball pit below. The ball pit is filled with hundreds of balls, so your kids can play along the ground and make ball snow angels if that’s their vibe. The area is lined with soft padded seating, making it easy for parents to sit along the edges and interact with their kids.

The Sensory Floor

This was my favorite! They have an entire section covered in sensory flooring. It’s like the floor is colorful lava that you can press and watch the colors morph. You will also see several Rody ride-on horses here, a color-changing wall, and several other things your kids (and you!) can enjoy playing with.

A Section Just for Babies!

Thankfully, Unwind wanted to make sure babies had a separate, safe section to play. There are developmentally appropriate climbing toys and soft blocks to enjoy. Parents can sit around the edges and watch their little ones explore without worrying that a big kid will come along and bump them.

The Sandbox

If you head toward the front corner of the play area, you’ll find a huge sandbox. The sand in the box is so soft, and my tactile toddler loved running her hands through the sand. You can get into the sandbox if you would like, but there is also space in front where parents can hang out and chat. Unwind has utility brushes right outside of the sandbox where you can brush down your kid’s clothes and feet so that they do not track sand to the other areas.

The Climbing Wall

In the back corner, there is a climbing wall I couldn’t keep my four-year-old out of. She loved it! The wall has rock climbing grips so your kids can climb and then jump into a pit of foam blocks. If you have younger kids, just be mindful of the bigger kids jumping off the walls onto them.

Large sandbox at Unwind Indoor Play Cafe
Climbing wall at Unwind Indoor Play Cafe in Pineville, North Carolina

Cost of Admission and Hours

Passes for Unwind Indoor Play Cafe are $12.99 per hour of play. Two adults are free per child. You will need to purchase socks if you do not already have Unwind-branded socks. Parents are required to fill out a waiver online or in person before their child can play. 

The play cafe is open Monday through Friday from 9 am – 6 pm, Saturday from 9 am – 7 pm, and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm.

The Cafe at Unwind

It wouldn’t be a play & cafe without delicious snacks! The cafe has several options for prepackaged snacks, coffee, a selection of lattes, hot chocolate, tea, and a variety of drinks. They occasionally have some yummy items like empanadas, tequenos, and sweet treats like cheesecake and milhojas. If you forget your kid’s snacks, they have items like veggie straws and juice. There are several tables throughout the venue to eat your snacks.

Birthday Parties

Looking for a place to host your kid’s next birthday? Unwind has several birthday party packages to choose from. Prices range from $350 for a party rental room, to $1500 if you would like to rent out the entire venue. Party packages do not include play passes, so keep that in mind when budgeting your party. Contact Unwind directly if you have any questions or concerns before your next party!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • There are bathrooms at the venue, so no need to worry if you need to rush your potty-training toddler to the restroom.
  • The weekends are popular, and it gets very busy. This means that older kids may be running around, so keep that in mind if you want to put your baby in the ball pit.
  • If you live in the area, monthly memberships to Unwind Indoor Play Cafe are available and could save you money if you plan to attend regularly.
  • Outside food is prohibited.
  • Parents must stay with their children as the play area is not equipped for drop-off childcare.
  • You can find all the rules and policies on the Unwind regulations page.
Unwind Indoor Play Cafe playground

Unwind Indoor Play Cafe
601 North Polk Street Suite A
Pineville, NC 28134

8 Spots for Snow Tubing: Charlotte, NC

Posted on |

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!



Gibson Mill in Concord, NC Has Delicious Dining & Unique Vintage Shopping All in One Place

Posted on |

Have you experienced Gibson Mill? Concord, NC is no stranger to exciting shopping and dining, but Gibson Mill has all of that in one unique place, a refurbished textile mill! Learn about what dining options are available and more about the antique vendors, breweries, and entertainment you will encounter when visiting this wonderful gem in Concord, NC.

Gibson Mill and Market in Concord, North Carolina

We visited Gibson Mill to grab lunch at the market and were blown away by all of the vintage items at the antique depot and other things to do, including an escape room, breweries, and an ax-throwing venue.

Special thank you to Explore Cabbarus for recommending Gibson Mill as a dining option and putting together an excellent guide to the mill while we were visiting Concord, NC!

Breweries & Restaurants at The Market at Gibson Mill: Concord, NC

From pizza, burgers, and tacos to ice cream and even a board game cafe, Gibson Mill Market has a little bit of everything for diners looking for a meal. You can even grab a coffee and a beer here! Our family tried out Taco Street and loved their El Cabon and Calabonzitas tacos, which were fresh and had a delicious sauce to top it off. 

Plus, the food hall has both indoor and outdoor seating, so you can head outside on a nice day, or hang out inside when the weather isn’t so great. Indoor seating is cafeteria style, so your family can grab whatever you want from the vendor that looks the most appetizing, and meet up at a table in the center of the food hall. We’ve listed out each restaurant with a little about what they offer, so you can place your next visit with ease.

Dining Options

We tried out Taco Street when we visited Gibson Mill and were not disappointed. They have trompo tacos, Birria tacos, and a variety of other tacos to choose from. They also have specialty drinks that pair well with Latin-inspired foods!

Barco’s Sports and Seafood offers a relaxed vibe, snacks, steamers, salads, and boat rolls. A lot of their menu features seafood and they have a couple of kid-friendly options, including hand-breaded chicken tenders.

Craving a scoop or two of ice cream? Churn Buddies has several options that you can pick from their case of ice creams. They also have sundaes, yum!

Cara’s Cookie Co has a yummy selection of cookies, cookie push pops, and cookie cakes that look delectable. They take custom orders and also offer birthday party packages.

Need a pick-me-up? Defined Coffee has brewed coffee, craft lattes, espresso, seasonal drinks, and tea. They even have kid’s hot chocolate and kid’s steamers.

Johnny Roger’s has BBQ and burgers, so this would be an excellent option if you are looking for American cuisine.

Looking for a fresh, delicious slice of pizza? Livy’s Neapolitan Pizzeria has a lot of savory options, including Margherita, Siciliana, and several other specialty pizzas along with the traditional cheese pizza.

Drinks & Breweries at the Gibson Mill Market

Right as you walk into the Gibson Mill Market, you’ll find The Market Bar. They have a large selection of draft cocktails, hand-crafted cocktails, beer, and wine to choose from.

High Branch Brewery is located on the bottom level of the market. It is a family-owned brewery with drinks, food, and space for special events!

Cabarrus Brewing Co. is where to be when looking for a great time. They have lots of special events, and an expansive outdoor seating area perfect for warmer weather. They consider themselves a “brewpub” with lots of delicious food available as well. The pig fries are calling my name!

Though technically not a brewery, Luck Factory Games has a decent selection of craft draft beer and canned beer for sale, along with a light snacks menu. This place is excellent because you can grab a drink and play some board games for a few hours.


Antique Mall: The Depot at Gibson Mill in Concord, NC

My daughter and I were immediately blown away when we walked into the doors of the antique mall. And it’s easy to see why this antique mall is considered the largest in the Southeast.  There is cool stuff everywhere! The Depot is home to over 750 vendors that take over the 88,000-square-foot sales floor. 

Everything is organized, clean, and purposely placed so that you can walk down the long aisle and browse, yet captures the “more is more” vibe of maximalism design. We visited during the Christmas season, so there were tons of vintage decorations, ornaments, and classic toys that caught our eye. My daughter was particularly drawn to a set of midcentury green glass reflector ornaments that screamed retro. I couldn’t be more proud of her design choices! 

You will find furniture, home goods, unique decor, art, and homemade goods, so you can easily spend hours here enjoying looking at all the neat stuff and finding pieces to curate every room in your home with your unique style. Another great furniture of the way the depot is set up is that it easily accommodates strollers, so you can lug along your toddler without having to worry about wandering hands. 

The Depot is open from Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday from 1 to 6 pm.


Entertainment and Things to Do at Gibson Mill

Though the food hall or the antique mall may be what draws you into Gibson Mill, they also have some other resident businesses that are fantastic! So, grab a bite to eat then head out to enjoy one of these resident entertainment venues.

If you have never tried ax throwing, you’re in for a thrill. Iron Ax Society at Gibson Mill has ax throwing starting at $26 per person per hour. One great thing is that when you play longer, you pay less. They offer group pricing if you want to take a group of 7 or more.

Looking for a mystery to solve or a way to show off to your boss? Then The Valcarol Missions Escape Room is where you should go for your next date night, family night, or team-building event. They have three escape room missions to choose from, along with a game show-style time travel mission that looks awesome! We recommend booking online so you don’t show up and have to wait.

Luck Factory Games is more than just a place to kick back, relax, and enjoy some friendly competition with your friends while you demolish them at your favorite board game. They also have snacks and beer to purchase, so you can enjoy game night with your friends. They do require reservations Tuesday through Sunday for larger groups planning to play (please reserve five days before!).

What’s your favorite thing to do at Gibson Mill: Concord, NC?

Gibson Mill
325 McGill Ave NW, Concord, NC 28027
704.787.9351

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

Posted on | No Comments

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.

(more…)

Grab A Sweet Treat From OMG Donuts in Concord, NC

Posted on |

If you haven’t visited OMG Donuts in Concord, NC, then what are you waiting for? We visited for breakfast and knew we were in the right place when we saw how happy customers were going in and leaving the bakery. Find out why we highly recommend OMG Donuts & Bakery the next time you want a sweet dessert or breakfast treat.

OMG Donuts & Bakery in Concord, North Carolina

Special thanks to Explore Cabarrus for their excellent recommendation to visit OMG Donuts & Bakery during our visit to Concord, North Carolina!

Only the Best at OMG Donuts: Concord NC

When you walk into OMG, you are instantly drawn to the glass display cases of donuts, pastries, and fritters. And it smells divine! My kids literally ran to the case to look inside and were giddy with excitement trying to figure out what they wanted.

We were quickly helped by staff, who were super friendly and answered all our questions before we decided to settle on a variety pack of donuts. This way, we could all try a little of each other’s donuts. The donuts themselves are pretty large, bigger than the donuts you would get from Krispy Kreme, which is always a plus. You can choose to get a few to share with your friends or family or enjoy them yourself (we aren’t judging).

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

The shop prides itself on offering handcrafted and yeast-raised donuts. This makes the dough soft and easy to pull apart, not gummy like some chain donut establishments. They top each one with special toppings, including strawberry sprinkles and strawberry cheesecake, both of which were my favorite.

They have other toppings like chocolate Oreo, chocolate M&M’s, and the traditional glazed along with a lot of other flavors to choose from. I spotted a maple bacon one that I will give a try another time. We didn’t get to try the apple fritters, but from the reviews I have read, they would be worth a try! Keep an eye out for their seasonal flavors each season, because their menu is always adding new things.

Are you ready for a delicious treat from OMG Donuts & Bakery?

OMG Donuts & Bakery
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 6:30 am – 4:30 pm
10005 Weddington Road Ext, Concord, NC
980.819.5804



Spark Your Christmas Spirit at the Celebration of Lights: Kannapolis, NC

Posted on |

It’s the time of year again to enjoy the spectacular display of holiday lights at Village Park in Kannapolis at the annual Celebration of Lights. We visited the event on opening night and were thrilled to watch the annual Christmas tree-lighting celebration. Along with the FREE light display of over 250,000 lights adorning the trees and buildings, there are also some pretty unique things to do throughout the month-long celebration in this beautiful park.

Celebration of Lights in Kannapolis, North Carolina

A special thanks to Explore Cabarrus for their recommendation of the Celebration of Lights and for providing lodging at Homewood Suites by Hilton in Concord so we could enjoy this holiday celebration!

The Celebration of Lights: Village Park, Kannapolis

From November 18th, 2023 – December 30th, 2023, Village Park in Kannapolis is illuminated by lights of all colors, animated light displays, and the town’s Christmas tree display that makes for a magical photo opportunity with your family. To complement the lights, you can also take a train ride around the park, ride a Venetian carousel, and meet with Santa. Or, take the walking trail and just enjoy the lights around the park. Either way, you’re in for a treat!

Celebration of Lights in Kannapolis, North Carolina

Ride the Winterland Express Train Through the Lights

One of the Celebration of Lights most popular attractions is the Winterland Express, a train ride weaving through the light displays! The g-24 scale replica train travels throughout the entire park, blowing its little whistle, while going through light tunnels and beside animated displays while you look for the 12 days of Christmas. The train gives guests the best view of the lights and is a lot of fun for all ages. For 2023, they even added an additional train.

The train runs every 10 minutes and is by reservation only during the week. You can purchase tickets for the Winterland Express for $2 per passenger through the City of Kannapolis. Guest can make train reservations for Sunday through Thursday, but Friday and Saturday will be walk-up only. All you have to do is print your ticket or bring your mobile ticket to the train depot for boarding. The popularity of this attraction makes lines grow long quickly, so keep that in mind and plan for a little bit of a wait.

Winterland Express at Village Park in Kannapolis.

The Carousel

The double-decker Venetian carousel was one of my daughter’s favorite experiences of the holiday season so far! The carousel is housed indoors at Village Park and features beautifully crafted horses, chariots, gorgeously painted in pastels, with 1800 lights along the Brazilian oak decking. We went on the carousel during opening night, so there was a significant line, but it didn’t take long before it was our turn. If you have a tendency for motion sickness, I would recommend grabbing one of the seats instead of standing beside the horse (I learned this very quickly).

Tickets for the carousel are $2 per person, and you do not need to make reservations ahead of time.

Carousel at Village Park in Kannapolis during Celebration of Lights

Meet With Santa, Roast S’mores, and More

It wouldn’t be a true holiday celebration without Santa! You can visit with Santa in his adorable studio and take a photo of your kids rattling off their growing Christmas list. Afterward, head over to the firepits to roast some delicious s’mores and enjoy the warmth. The Celebration of Lights will also have a 30-minute caroling experience from the Kannapolis Singing Bears every hour to really set the mood for the holidays. 

Things to Know Before You Visit the Celebration of Lights

  • Bathrooms– There is a small bathroom located at the park that is kept fairly clean, along with a changing table in the largest stall in the women’s bathroom. 
  • Fireworks occur on the opening night of the Celebration of Lights in conjunction with the annual tree-lighting ceremony. These start right as the tree is lit up, making for a truly magical experience.
  • Lines– If you plan to go to the event on opening night or during the weekend, expect longer lines for the attractions than if you visit during the week.
  • Parking– There is ample free parking at the Kannapolis YMCA, which is located right beside the park. You will also find free parking at Village Park.
  • Inclement weather– If the weather turns bad and the City of Kannapolis decides to cancel events for the night, you can use your tickets another night.

What is Your Favorite Part of the Kannapolis Celebration of Lights?

Kannapolis Celebration of Lights
Village Park, Kannapolis
700 West C Street, Kannapolis, NC
Nightly, November 18th – December 30th, 2023
Open 6 pm – 9 pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day
Tickets and Reservations of the Wonderland Express


Places to see Christmas light displays in Charlotte, North Carolina

Looking for more holiday lights? One of these 17+ holiday light displays near Charlotte is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit!


Village Park in Kannapolis is a great place to visit year-round. Check out why we think it is worth the trip.

Village Park Kannapolis