Have you heard about Reed Gold Mine in Midland, NC? The very first gold ever discovered in the United States was at Little Meadow Creek and what would soon become the Reed Gold Mine. Visit Little Meadow Creek, tour the underground gold mine, and try your hand at panning for gold. Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site is an amazing place to visit. Admission is totally free. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your own visit to Reed Gold Mine.
Love a good puzzle challenge with the family? The Escape Game at Concord Mills recently opened with 5 escape room challenges for your friends and family to conquer. All five rooms differ with regard to difficulty and the number of players able to play together, so groups big and small, and beginner or more seasoned escape room players, will all find a game that’s right for their group.
Three of my kids, aged 10-13, and I got to play the Playground Escape Game and we had a blast! It was a very cooperative game and really required us to divide and conquer and help each other to solve all the puzzles in time.
The game was full of surprises and we won’t share all the details, so you can enjoy the game yourself. But here’s how our experience went.
The Escape Game at Concord Mills
The Escape Game is located between the movie theater and Dave & Busters at Concord Mills. If you head towards the movie theater parking lot and then keep going around towards Dave and Busters, you’ll see The Escape Game, painted black and white, on the exterior of the mall. You won’t need to walk through the mall to get to The Escape Game, but there’s an entrance in the mall, too!
When you arrive you’ll check in with your name, if you’ve made reservations in advance. This is recommended, by the way. Then, if you haven’t filled out a waiver, there’s a quick form to fill out on a tablet kiosk. Then, you’re ready to go.
Your guide will walk you to your game and welcome you to the space. A movie intro will play on the screen above the door and you’re off.
Our game, Playground, set us up as 4th-grade students on the very last day of 4th grade. But our teacher wouldn’t let us out until we had completed all the tasks on the report card. Each lit up as we completed them during the game, helping us keep track of where we were and how many more puzzles were yet to be solved.
Up to 12 players can play this game, so I was a little nervous about how the 4 of us would do. We’re not exactly expert escape room players. But our game guide helped us out from time to time with clues on the video screen and little tips to let us know if we were headed in the right direction or not. Which, was super helpful and helped keep the game enjoyable and not frustrating.
The Puzzles at The Escape Game
The puzzles we had to solve were all themed by school subject, fitting with the 4th-grade classroom experience. The way information was displayed and hidden for each problem varied greatly. Some clues had us bouncing between rooms as they were opened and some of it was hidden in plain sight and required some deduction and logic, and maybe a little math to find the solutions. Each problem worked together to get us the information we needed to escape that fourth-grade class.
There were lots of fun little surprises along the way, that I, at least, have never seen in an escape room before. My kids really enjoyed those surprises.
Mom Review: The Escape Game: Concord, NC
We had a great time playing Playground. Escape rooms are a great family activity for families, especially with hard-to-please tweens and teens and I would definitely would recommend playing a game at The Escape Game. Our game was really well done and we enjoyed working together to solve it and escape.
In my opinion, I don’t think kids much younger than 8 or 9 would be able to contribute much towards solving the puzzles and they might get bored. Although one nice thing about Playground is that there are a significant number of tasks that require collecting objects and younger kids could certainly help with that. But, suffice it to say, these are really geared toward older kids and adults.
Prison Break: 60 minutes to escape prison. Difficulty 9/10, for up to 8 players
The Depths: A secret underwater lab? Difficulty 7/10, for up to 8 players
Special Ops: A mysterious market…. Difficulty 8/10, for up to 8 players
Gold Rush: Time to find some gold. Difficulty 7/10, for up to 8 players
Playground: Escape the 4th grade, can’t be that hard, right? Difficulty 6/10 for up to 12 players
Tickets for The Escape Game
Tickets are $34.99. Smaller groups may end up together, so if you’d like to book privately, for only your group, you can purchase the entire room beginning at $280. Of course, the other option is just to make sure you bring enough friends to fill the room.
More to Do: Concord Mills
Being located in Concord Mills, a large mall, you could easily turn your visit into a full day. Concord Mills has an aquarium, an arcade, movie theater, lots of shopping, and places to eat.
Our family went to the Lego Store and then decided to drive over to SunFlour Baking Company for lunch, which is a family favorite just about 15 minutes from the mall.
Thinking about a visit to ZMAX Dragway in Charlotte, NC? When is the last time you stood up to watch something go 300 mph? Been a long time or maybe never? Then you should plan a trip to the ZMAX Dragway for an NHRA National Event.
We got a chance to visit for the NHRA Carolina Nationals and couldn’t believe all the things we got to experience. And the best part? Kids are FREE. So your 300 mph family adventure just got a lot more budget-friendly. Here’s everything you need to know.
Have you visited Cabarrus County in North Carolina? Just a short two-hour drive from the Upstate, Cabarrus County offers tons of fun for kids from a historic gold mine you can tour, to a famous NASCAR speedway and NHRA dragway. In this article, we’ll share more than 10 places you can take your kids near Concord plus all the tips you need to make it a family memory you will never forget.
Thank you to Explore Cabarrus for providing lodging and some of these experiences.
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!
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.
Village Park Train
The train shed at Village Park is located across from the carousel. From there, families can hop on board and ride around the park, past the splash pad, both playgrounds and across the paved and shaded walking paths.
Tickets to ride the trail at Village Park are $1.50.
Purchase tickets for both the train and the carousel at the exterior window of the main building at the park’s entrance.
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.
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, or, if you want to turn it up a notch, book tickets for the park’s holiday train, the Winterland Express! 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.
Celebration of Lights
This free holiday light display in Village Park is on daily from November 19th through December 30th, 2022. 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.
Are you looking for a great place for breakfast or lunch in Cabarrus County? If you’ve never visited Sunflour Baking Company you are missing out. The flakiest most delicious breakfast pastries, sandwiches, cookies, and cupcakes are waiting for you at one of Sunflour’s four locations near Charlotte, NC and we think you’ll want to pop in and enjoy their delicious offerings. We spent a weekend in Cabarrus County and we so enjoyed our breakfast that we stopped in for lunch the next day.
Our breakfast was courtesy of Explore Cabarrus County, our lunch was not. Thank you to Explore Cabarrus County for introducing us to what might be our new family favorite restaurant!