Weekend getaways with the kids help me unplug, focus on the kiddos, avoid the laundry and offer us the ability to explore new places. If you are looking for weekend getaways near Atlanta, then check out Cabarrus County just over the border in North Carolina. You might know it as home to Great Wolf Lodge or Charlotte Motor Speedway… but that’s just the beginning! Here are the BEST things to do in Charlotte, NC with kiddos is tow!
Stay and Play at Great Wolf Lodge
We spent the weekend at Great Wolf Lodge, taking in the water park, lobby shows and having fun with the kiddos. Both of our boys were celebrating their birthday, also. This was our second time visiting GWL because it is such a fun and easy birthday party idea for kids. There are packages, games and the water park, of course! Take a look at our guide about GWL for tips while there!
More exciting things to do in Concord
Charlotte Motor Speedway. Cabarrus County is “Where Racing Lives,” so be sure to visit Charlotte Motor Speedway while you are there. It is only about five minutes down the road from Great Wolf Lodge. We had a great time at the Over The Wall Tour, which I cannot recommend highly enough! That ticket allowed us to dine VIP style at The Speedway Club, with spectacular views of the raceway. Saturday, we were lucky enough to take in a Monster Truck show on the dirt track! Need more details about these adventures? Read up on three ways to enjoy Charlotte Motor Speedway with kiddos.
Reed Gold Mine and Rocky River Vineyard. While not necessarily related, I am grouping these adventures together because they are only 4-miles apart and make an excellent outing! Just outside Concord is Midland, NC. Midland is special because it was the site of the first documented discovery of GOLD in the US. Cool, huh? It’s also special because it is home to Rocky River Vineyard, a family-friendly wine tasting venue. You can sample their wine (we love the wine slushies!) while the kids drink non-alcoholic slushies. Then head out on the property for a 1.5-mile hike around the grape vines and into the forest. Here’s the scoop on our day at Reed Gold Mine and Rocky River.
SEA LIFE Aquarium. SEA LIFE Aquarium in at Concord Mills Mall, just across the street from Great Wolf Lodge. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much when we visited, but I was sorely mistaken. This excellent aquarium is perfect for kids. There are interactive games, feeding times, kid-talks about sharks and sting rays and a great behind the scenes tour. While you’re out, stop at Jim N Nick’s for barbecue lunch or dinner, also just right outside GWL and near SEA LIFE. It was rated one of the best barbecue chains in America and made Southern Living’s Reader’s Pick for best pork sandwich. We grabbed a to-go family pack and took it back to our GWL room – an easy way to chow down before hitting the water park again!
If you are looking for even more things to do, visit the Cabarrus County website for great ideas!
Disclosure: Thank you to Cabarrus County for hosting my family and me. We adored this great county in North Carolina and are excited about sharing it with you. Opinions here are always honest and all my own.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.