5 activities to keep your Charlotte fall from falling flat

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In Charlotte, it seems that one day it’s hot and everyone is enjoying splash pads and barbecues and then, before you even see it coming, brilliant colors combine on the trees in a form of beautiful decay in preparation for the city to renew itself in new life, come spring. Hot meals, hoodies, and chilled air help define this time of year. Charlotte and the surrounding area offer many things to see and do to let you enjoy this fall season.

Charlotte Checkers Hockey

The Checkers have been a staple in Charlotte since 1956 when the Baltimore Clippers stadium burned down and they quickly needed a new home to finish the season. A lot has changed since then, but the boys are still lacing up skates and representing the Queen City. Tickets start at just $16.25 and full concessions are available including a Charlotte favorite- Bojangles chicken.

Located downstairs is The Local Tap, selling local craft beer. All games are family friendly. Opening night is Oct. 13th. Visit their website for a full schedule, ticket purchasing and a list of promotional events.

Carolina Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Festival allows you to travel back in time to the Middle Ages. This is one of my favorite events offered every year in the Charlotte Area. Walk amongst knights, pirates, musketeers and even the occasional fairy or living tree.

Knights hold jousts, while smaller stages feature a variety of shows throughout the day. There are also many food and drink options, along with vendors, games and much more.

This event is very family friendly excluding a few comedy shows towards the end of the day that include multiple warnings that the humor may not be appropriate for your children. Doors open Sept. 10 and the festival will continue every weekend until Nov. 19th.

Special themed weekends take place quite often, so if you plan to only go once this season, check the calendar to see which weekend your family would enjoy most. Tickets are $24 for adults and $14 for ages 5-12. Under 5 is admitted for free. 

Lazy 5 Ranch

What if you could drive your car through a wild landscape, observing animals in their natural habitat? Lazy 5 makes this a reality.

Grab a bucket of feed and stay in the car while you feed all types of animals who roam the ranch including deer, pot bellied pigs, emu, and giraffes. You are cautioned to not feed certain horned animals and zebra, but you can still see them close up from the comfort of your vehicle.

Some of the driving trail is nicely wooded and will offer a great scenic drive and fun for everyone in the family. Small concessions are available. There are also areas to feed camels, see kangaroos, a walk in aviary, and much more. Adults are $11.00 and children are $8.00. Check out their website for information and a list of special events.

15100 Mooresville Rd, Mooresville, NC 28115, 9:00 a. m.- 5:00 p.m.

Parks and recreation events

The Mecklenburg County Park and Rec. department puts on fall events every year designed for families. Festivals, a nature night hayride, a haunted tour and much more. Last year, I took my daughter to a Halloween event at Reedy Creek Park and it was quite enjoyable. They had a costume contest, s’more making area, hayrides, crafts and all the children had a great time. Enjoy our beautiful local parks while giving your children a learning opportunity. Check out events here.

Henry River Mill Village

A staple of fall is, of course, Halloween. This close-by destination is perfect to put you in a spooky mood while also exploring history. Henry River sprung up during the textile revolution. The mill opened in 1905, but closed in 1973 and by 1987, the town was completely abandoned. It now rests as a ghost town, but gained tourism after being used as the setting for District 12 in The Hunger Games movie series. The land is private property and should not be trespassed, but a drive through will put you in the right mood for a creepy Halloween.

20 Henry River Road, Hildebran, North Carolina 28637

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

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