Best Things to Do With Teens in Charlotte: 12 Unforgettable Charlotte Attractions for Teenagers

by Jen
Best Things to Do With Teens in Charlotte
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Are you planning a trip to Charlotte with teenagers in tow? Dive into this guide to uncover the best things to do with teens in Charlotte, NC. From adrenaline-pumping escapades to serene scenic spots, there’s a wide range of fun things to do in Charlotte for teenagers.

Welcome to Charlotte! With its radiant skyline and the perfect fusion of contemporary vibes and age-old tales, this city exudes a southern charm that instantly feels like home. Known locally as the “Queen City,” Charlotte boasts a variety of fun things to do with teens, ensuring you’re never at a loose end.

From the adrenaline-pumping adventures at the Whitewater Center to the artistic alleys of NoDa, the city offers a range of places to go with teenagers that cater to all interests and tastes. And let’s not forget the mouthwatering southern delicacies that await at places like Midwood Smokehouse. What truly sets Charlotte apart is its ability to strike a balance between bustling urban life and serene nature spots. This ensures that every teen finds their own little paradise in the heart of the city.

As you dive into this guide, you’ll discover a curated list of the best things to do with teens in Charlotte. Each attraction showcases the city’s vibrant culture and its commitment to offering something for everyone. Buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey that promises laughter, thrills, and unforgettable places to visit with teens in Charlotte. Here’s everything you need to know about the best things to do with teenagers in Charlotte, NC.

The top places to visit with Teens in Charlotte right now
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Best Things to Do With Teens in Charlotte, NC: 12 Fun Places to Go in Charlotte with Teenagers

Eager to discover the most exciting things to do in Charlotte with teens? Beyond the city’s skyline lies a world teeming with experiences, from urban escapades to natural retreats. Unearth the unique Charlotte places to visit with teenagers that often fly under the radar but promise unparalleled adventures.

Are the city’s cultural landmarks calling your name? Or perhaps you’re yearning for a peaceful escape amidst Charlotte’s green havens? No matter your travel desires, the Queen City has got you covered. Dive into this guide to uncover the best attractions in Charlotte for teens that are waiting to be explored.

1. Unleash Your Inner Scientist at Discovery Place Science

Stepping into Discovery Place Science is like entering a realm where curiosity meets innovation. This hands-on science museum, nestled in the heart of Charlotte, offers a plethora of interactive experiments and activities that promise to captivate both the young and the young at heart. Without a doubt, it stands as one of the most enjoyable places in Charlotte for teens. Here, learning takes on the essence of an adventure, free from the confines of a chore.

Wandering through the various exhibits, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of wonder. From creating music with light beams to understanding the intricacies of the human body, every corner of this museum beckons with a new discovery. And for those with a passion for the stars, the planetarium offers a celestial experience that’s truly out of this world.

What sets Discovery Place Science apart from other museums is its commitment to fostering a love for science in the younger generation. Through interactive workshops, live shows, and hands-on experiments, teens are encouraged to question, explore, and innovate. As such, it’s a destination that should be added to any Charlotte itinerary.

Discovery Place Science is one of the best things to do with teen in Charlotte.
Discovery Place Science offers interactive experiments that turn learning into an exciting adventure for all ages.

2. Dive into Water Sports and Aerial Adventures in Charlotte

Visiting Charlotte with teens in tow? One destination that should be on every thrill-seeker’s list is the Whitewater Center. This sprawling adventure hub is the perfect spot for families looking to inject some excitement into their trip. It’s one of the best places to go in Charlotte with teens who enjoy heart-pounding activities.

From navigating the challenging rapids in a whitewater raft to soaring through the treetops on a zipline, the Whitewater Center offers a diverse range of adventures that promise to get your adrenaline pumping. And if water sports aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to explore. The center boasts an extensive network of biking and hiking trails that meander through picturesque landscapes. This offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Beyond extreme sports, the Whitewater Center also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, from music concerts to outdoor film screenings, ensuring there’s something for everyone. And after a day of adventure, you can unwind at one of the on-site restaurants, savoring delicious meals while reminiscing about the day’s escapades. It’s the perfect day out in Charlotte, NC!

Discover the ultimate thrill at Charlotte's Whitewater Center. An adventure haven for families seeking excitement.
Discover the ultimate thrill at Charlotte’s Whitewater Center. An adventure haven for families seeking excitement.

3. Discover Vibrant Murals and Local Art in NoDa

A must-see in Charlotte, especially for teens with a love for art, is the historic arts and entertainment district of NoDa. Short for North Davidson, this neighborhood showcases Charlotte’s thriving art scene and is one of the coolest activities in Charlotte for teens who appreciate creativity.

As you stroll through the streets of NoDa, you’re greeted by vibrant murals that tell tales of the city’s history, culture, and aspirations. Each artwork is a conversation starter, sparking curiosity and admiration. Moreover, NoDa is home to numerous art galleries showcasing the works of local artists, from contemporary paintings to intricate sculptures.

Aside from visual arts, the district pulsates with life, offering a medley of experiences. Live music venues echo with melodies from various genres, while eclectic boutiques beckon with unique finds. And when hunger strikes, the array of eateries, ranging from cozy cafes to gourmet restaurants, ensures that every palate is catered to.

The neighborhood boasts a rich history of textile mills, now transformed into vibrant venues and studios. Weekly events, like open mic nights and art crawls, offer a glimpse into Charlotte’s dynamic art community. With so much on offer, it’s hands-down one of the best places in Charlotte to go with teens.

For artsy teens, a must-see in Charlotte is NoDa, the historic arts district known for its vibrant creativity. | Source: https://noda.org/
For artsy teens, a must-see in Charlotte is NoDa, the historic arts district known for its vibrant creativity. | Source: https://noda.org/

4. Get a Glimpse of Racing Royalty at the NASCAR Hall of Fame

The roar of engines, the thrill of speed, and the legacy of racing legends come alive at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. This iconic destination offers a deep dive into the world of stock car racing, showcasing the sport’s rich history and its evolution over the years.

Among the best things to do with teens in Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame stands out as a unique experience. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to get behind the wheel, test their skills in a pit crew challenge, and even solve engine puzzles. It’s a hands-on journey that offers insights into the technical intricacies and strategies behind every race.

The Hall of Honor, a centerpiece of the museum, pays tribute to the legends of the sport, celebrating their achievements and contributions. Here, stories of iconic races, legendary rivalries, and moments that changed the course of racing history are narrated with passion.

The High Octane Theater showcases some of the most thrilling races, giving visitors a taste of the adrenaline rush experienced by the drivers. And for those keen on memorabilia, the Gear Shop offers a range of authentic NASCAR merchandise, from apparel to collectibles.

In a city known for its diverse attractions, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a destination that promises to captivate racing enthusiasts, history buffs, and curious minds. This makes it a must-visit when in Charlotte. What more could a teenager ask for?

Feel the speed and racing legacy at Charlotte's NASCAR Hall of Fame. Dive into stock car racing's evolution and history in this iconic destination.
Feel the speed and racing legacy at Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame. Dive into stock car racing’s evolution and history in this iconic destination.

5. Indulge in Authentic Barbecue Flavors at Midwood Smokehouse

Tucked away in the vibrant streets of Charlotte, Midwood Smokehouse serves up some of the tastiest food in NC. This renowned barbecue joint has carved a niche for itself. It’s a destination that offers a gastronomic experience that’s hard to match. With its rustic ambiance and the aroma of smoked meats wafting through the air, stepping into Midwood Smokehouse feels like a journey back in time.

The menu at Midwood Smokehouse is a delightful blend of time-honored recipes and contemporary flavors. From succulent pulled pork and tender brisket to flavorful ribs and spicy sausages, every dish promises a burst of authentic Southern taste. The secret lies in their slow-cooking process, where meats are smoked over hickory logs for hours, infusing them with a unique flavor that’s both rich and smoky.

For those wondering where to go in Charlotte with teens, Midwood Smokehouse is among the top Charlotte attractions. The restaurant’s laid-back vibe, combined with its mouthwatering dishes, makes it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. And to complement the meal, there’s a selection of craft beers and signature cocktails, curated to enhance the flavors of the barbecue. After a day of exploring the city, there’s no better place to go!

Midwood Smokehouse offers unbeatable NC cuisine with a rustic ambiance and mouthwatering aroma.
Midwood Smokehouse offers unbeatable NC cuisine with a rustic ambiance and mouthwatering aroma.

6. Uncover the Stories of the South at Charlotte’s Levine Museum

One of the most educational things to do in Charlotte with teens is to immerse oneself in the city’s history, and there’s no better place to do that than at the Levine Museum of the New South. Situated in the heart of the city, this museum offers a comprehensive look into the history, culture, and evolution of the South post-Civil War.

The Levine Museum stands out as one of the best places in Charlotte to gain insights into the transformative years of the New South. Through interactive exhibits, personal narratives, and thought-provoking installations, visitors are transported to pivotal moments in history. From the rise of cotton mills to the civil rights movement, the museum captures the essence of the region’s journey.

What makes the Levine Museum truly special is its commitment to fostering understanding and appreciation for the diverse stories that shape the South. Teens can engage in hands-on activities, participate in discussions, and even attend workshops that delve deeper into specific topics. The museum also hosts regular events, lectures, and performances, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

For an afternoon of learning and understanding, make sure to visit the Levine Museum. If you’re at a loose end on a rainy day, there’s no better attraction in Charlotte, NC.

Explore Levine Museum of the New South. Discover the post-Civil War evolution of the South in this centrally located museum.
Explore Levine Museum of the New South. Discover the post-Civil War evolution of the South in this centrally located museum.

7. Wander Amidst Blooms and Butterflies at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Nestled on the banks of Lake Wylie, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden offers a serene escape from the urban hustle. Spanning 380 acres, this botanical haven showcases vibrant blooms, cascading water features, and meticulously designed landscapes that captivate visitors at every turn.

For families pondering what to do in Charlotte with teens, the garden emerges as a top choice. Why? Teens, often engrossed in digital screens, can benefit from a refreshing break amidst nature. The Orchid Conservatory, a tropical paradise, not only houses a stunning collection of orchids and tropical plants but also offers a chance to witness butterflies up close — a perfect backdrop for those Instagram-worthy shots. As visitors explore the themed gardens, teens can appreciate the artistry in landscape design, from the whimsical Canal Garden to the calming Four Seasons Garden.

Beyond its flora, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is also a hub for learning and creativity. Photography classes can appeal to budding teen photographers, while botanical workshops provide hands-on experiences in plant care and gardening. Seasonal festivals, often featuring live music and art, resonate with the youthful spirit. This make the garden more than just a visual treat.

On a sunny day, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden stands as a beacon of beauty and tranquility, inviting visitors, especially teens, to immerse themselves in nature’s splendor and discover the therapeutic benefits of the great outdoors.

By Lake Wylie, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a serene escape. Spanning 380 acres, it dazzles with vibrant blooms and water features.
By Lake Wylie, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a serene escape. Spanning 380 acres, it dazzles with vibrant blooms and water features.

8. Engage in Hands-On Learning at Charlotte’s Science Hub

In the bustling heart of Charlotte lies Discovery Place, a realm where science, nature, and imagination converge. This interactive museum offers a plethora of exhibits and activities. It’s a favorite destination for families and curious minds alike.

For those seeking unique places in Charlotte for teens, Discovery Place stands out. The museum boasts state-of-the-art labs, immersive IMAX films, and hands-on exhibits that delve into various scientific domains. From exploring the intricacies of the human body to understanding the wonders of outer space, every corner of the museum offers a new learning experience.

One of the highlights of Discovery Place is the rainforest exhibit, where visitors can witness diverse ecosystems and encounter exotic creatures. The museum also hosts regular workshops, science shows, and special events, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

It’s no surprise that when considering fun things to do in Charlotte, Discovery Place often tops the list.

Discovery Place is one of the best things to do with teen in Charlotte.
Discovery Place melds science, nature, and imagination. With interactive exhibits, it’s a favorite for families and curious minds.

9. Experience Thrills on Land, Water, and Air in the U.S. National Whitewater Center

Adventure seekers, brace yourselves for an exhilarating experience at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Located just outside Charlotte, this sprawling facility is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. This destination offers a plethora of activities that challenge both the body and mind.

From tackling fierce rapids in whitewater rafting to navigating intricate trails on mountain bikes, the center promises a day filled with excitement. The facility also boasts climbing walls, zip lines, and rope courses, catering to thrill-seekers of all levels. And for those who prefer a more relaxed pace, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding offer a serene way to explore the waterways.

Among the myriad of attractions in the city, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is undeniably one of the coolest activities in Charlotte for teens. The center’s commitment to providing safe yet thrilling experiences ensures that visitors can push their limits with confidence. Regular events, festivals, and races add to the center’s appeal. This makes it a dynamic hub of activity throughout the year.

When compiling a list of the best things to do with teens in Charlotte, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is a must-include. The center offers educational programs focused on environmental science and outdoor skills. With over 1,300 acres of land, it also serves as a habitat for diverse wildlife and a venue for research on native ecosystems.

At the U.S. National Whitewater Center near Charlotte, thrill-seekers find a haven of outdoor adventure with diverse challenges for mind and body.
At the U.S. National Whitewater Center near Charlotte, thrill-seekers find a haven of outdoor adventure with diverse challenges for mind and body.

10. Explore Global Art Collections in Mint Museum

When considering unique things to do in Charlotte, the Mint Museum stands out, not just for its rich blend of history, art, and culture, but also for its appeal to the younger generation. Located in the heart of Charlotte, the Mint Museum boasts two dynamic locations: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph, each offering a distinct artistic journey.

So, why would teens be drawn to the Mint Museum? In an age where global connectivity and cultural appreciation are more important than ever, the museum provides a gateway to diverse artistic expressions from around the world. Teens can connect with stories from different cultures, eras, and artistic movements, broadening their horizons and sparking conversations. The contemporary pieces, especially at Mint Museum Uptown, resonate with the modern youth, reflecting current societal themes, trends, and dialogues. The museum’s interactive exhibits cater to the digital-native generation, allowing them to engage with art in a tactile and immersive manner.

Teens can actively participate in workshops, where they can try their hand at various art forms, from pottery to digital design. Guided tours offer deeper insights, and lectures by renowned artists can inspire budding young creatives. For those teens with a flair for fashion, the museum’s focus on design and fashion provides a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of style.

In essence, the Mint Museum is a vibrant space where teens can discover, engage, and be inspired. This makes it a must-visit for families with young art enthusiasts.

Charlotte's Mint Museum: Art, history, and culture unite at Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph, appealing to all ages.
Charlotte’s Mint Museum: Art, history, and culture unite at Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph, appealing to all ages.

11. Dive Into a World of Roller Coasters and Water Rides at Carowinds

Searching for the best things to do in Charlotte with teens? Look no further than Carowinds Amusement Park. Straddling the border between North and South Carolina, this expansive park offers a perfect blend of adrenaline-pumping rides, entertaining shows, and delightful eateries.

Teens and families searching for cool destinations in Charlotte will find Carowinds to be a treasure trove of excitement. From the gravity-defying Fury 325, one of the world’s tallest and fastest roller coasters, to the splash-filled adventures of Carolina Harbor waterpark, there’s something for everyone. The park also boasts a range of family-friendly rides, ensuring that visitors of all ages can join in the fun.

Beyond the rides, Carowinds offers a variety of entertainment options. Live shows, character meet-and-greets, and seasonal events like the WinterFest and SCarowinds Halloween Haunt add to the park’s allure. Boasting an array of attractions and activities, Carowinds stands as a testament to Charlotte’s commitment to providing top-notch entertainment options for its residents and visitors. Truly, it’s one of Charlotte’s best places to go with teens.

Discover the best teen activities in Charlotte at Carowinds Amusement Park. With thrilling rides, shows, and dining, it's the ultimate entertainment destination.
Discover the best teen activities in Charlotte at Carowinds Amusement Park. With thrilling rides, shows, and dining, it’s the ultimate entertainment destination.

12. Jump, Flip, and Fly at Charlotte’s Premier Trampoline Park

Imagine a place where the floor becomes a giant trampoline, where every jump leads to laughter, and where gravity seems to take a back seat. Welcome to Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Charlotte, a playground that redefines fun and challenges the very notion of entertainment.

Teens looking for an adrenaline-packed outing will find Sky Zone to be a dream come true. The park boasts a multitude of attractions, from the classic trampoline courts, where visitors can bounce to their heart’s content, to the challenging Ninja Warrior Course that tests agility and strength.

Dodgeball on trampolines? Sky Zone has it. Want to practice your flips and tricks without the fear of a hard landing? The Foam Zone, filled with thousands of soft foam cubes, is the perfect spot. And for those seeking a unique twist on basketball, SkySlam offers the chance to dunk like a pro, aided by the bounce of a trampoline.

The park also offers specialized programs such as SkyFit fitness classes and Glow Nights, where the entire park is illuminated with neon lights. Additionally, for those looking to celebrate special occasions, Sky Zone provides party packages. This makes it a popular choice for birthdays and group events in Charlotte, NC.

Discover Sky Zone Trampoline Park: Where laughter meets gravity-defying fun on a giant trampoline floor, redefining entertainment.
Discover Sky Zone Trampoline Park: Where laughter meets gravity-defying fun on a giant trampoline floor, redefining entertainment.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Things to Do With Teens in Charlotte:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Charlotte with teens? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Charlotte.

Are there any educational attractions in Charlotte for teens?

Absolutely! The Discovery Place is a must-visit, offering a blend of science, technology, and nature exhibits that captivate the teenage mind. The Charlotte Museum of History dives deep into the city’s past, with interactive displays that make learning fun. Plan your visit to Discovery Place on weekdays to avoid weekend crowds, and don’t forget to check out their special workshops tailored for teens.

Is Charlotte a safe city for teens to explore?

Yes, Charlotte is generally safe for teens, especially in popular tourist areas. However, like any major city, it’s always advisable to stay in well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings. For extra peace of mind, equip your teens with a local SIM card or a portable Wi-Fi device, so they can easily reach out if needed and access maps on the go.

Are there any teen-friendly events or festivals in Charlotte?

There are exciting events in Charlotte all-year round. From music festivals like the Charlotte Jazz Festival to cultural events at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, there’s something for every teen’s interest. Sports enthusiasts can catch a game at the Bank of America Stadium or the Spectrum Center. Subscribe to local event newsletters or follow Charlotte’s official tourism social media pages for timely updates on teen-friendly festivals in NC.

Charlotte, North Carolina Signs.
Charlotte, North Carolina Signs.

Do attractions in Charlotte offer discounts for teens?

Many attractions in Charlotte provide special pricing for teens. This is especially true for large groups or school trips. Before visiting, it’s a good idea to check the official websites of attractions or even call ahead. Some places also offer discounts for online bookings or during off-peak hours.

What are the best things to do with teens in Charlotte during the summer?

Summer in Charlotte is vibrant. The U.S. National Whitewater Center stands out as a top spot in Charlotte for teens. It provides opportunities for rafting, zip-lining, and rock climbing. Carowinds Amusement Park is another favorite, with thrilling rides and water attractions. For a more laid-back day, explore parks like Romare Bearden Park or take a stroll in the Botanical Gardens. Pack a picnic and head to one of the city’s lakes for a day of paddleboarding or kayaking. It’s a fun way to cool off and enjoy the city’s natural beauty.

Is Charlotte kid friendly?

Yes, Charlotte, NC is generally a kid-friendly city with a variety of activities and attractions suitable for families. The city offers a range of parks, museums, and interactive experiences that can keep children entertained. Some popular family-friendly attractions include:

  1. Discovery Place: A science and technology museum that offers hands-on exhibits.
  2. Carowinds: A large amusement park located on the border between North and South Carolina.
  3. NASCAR Hall of Fame: Great for older kids interested in cars and racing.
  4. Freedom Park: A large park with playgrounds, a lake, and walking trails.
  5. ImaginOn: A children’s library and theater that offers free activities and performances.
  6. Charlotte Nature Museum: Features live animals and interactive exhibits.
  7. U.S. National Whitewater Center: Offers outdoor activities like rafting, kayaking, and zip-lining suitable for older kids and teens.

The city is also home to family-friendly events throughout the year, including festivals and outdoor concerts. Overall, Charlotte provides a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

What is there to do in Charlotte under 21?

Charlotte is brimming with activities for teens and those under 21. Here are a couple of local favorites:

  1. Adventure seekers can head to the U.S. National Whitewater Center for a day of outdoor fun, from kayaking to obstacle courses.
  2. Music lovers will appreciate the city’s vibrant live music scene, with venues like the Visulite Theatre hosting a variety of artists.
  3. The Epicentre in Uptown Charlotte is a entertainment hub, with movie theaters, bowling alleys, and eateries.
  4. For art enthusiasts, NoDa (North Davidson) is the city’s arts district, filled with galleries, murals, and performance spaces. Many coffee shops in NoDa host open mic nights or local bands. This offers a cozy atmosphere for those under 21 to enjoy live performances.

On top of these cool things to do for teens in Charlotte, don’t forget the city’s food scene! From food truck rallies to local diners, a culinary journey awaits at every corner. And remember – grab a “Charlotte City Pass” if available, which often provides discounted access to multiple attractions. This makes it budget-friendly for younger visitors.

Final Thoughts on Charlotte’s Best Things to Do with Teens

Charlotte, with its southern charm and modern flair, offers a wide range of things to do for teens and their families to enjoy. If it’s adrenaline-pumping adventures at amusement parks or educational dives into the city’s rich past, there’s no shortage of memorable moments waiting to be created.

As you plan your next family outing, consider the diverse range of activities highlighted in this guide. These are genuinely some of the best things to do with teens in Charlotte which will appeal to a range of tastes and budgets. No matter what interests your teen holds, Charlotte promises an enriching experience that will leave lasting memories. Get ready to pack your bags, gather your family, and set out to explore Charlotte’s coolest places to go. Your adventure awaits!

The top things to do with Teens in Charlotte for all types of travelers
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