Charlotte with children

One of Charlotte's strong points is that it has an abundance of high-quality options for families. Residents from other areas often cite family-friendliness as a primary reason for moving, and visitors often find the city easy to enjoy with children around.

Understand

In the past 20 years, the amount of child-friendly options in Uptown Charlotte has grown exponentially. The recent additions of several new facilities, added to established favorites such as Discovery Place, has made it relatively easy to enjoy the center city while in the company of children. Other areas of interest may include South End, NoDa (during the day), and Ballantyne.

Prepare

Needless to say, preparation is key when traveling with children. If you are staying in a hotel that serves breakfast, make sure to grab a bite to eat before leaving. By Charlotte standards, food is expensive Uptown. Also, make sure that your kids have a good pair of walking shoes. You may want to carry sunscreen and water, especially during the summer when the sunshine can be intense. And of course, it always helps to have plenty of supplies (diapers, food, etc.) handy; though there are some helpful stores Uptown, it is not guaranteed that you'll be able to find a box of handy-wipes at a moment's notice.

Get in

Get around

See

See the Charlotte district articles for specific details on the attractions below. The information here is an overview of kid-friendly attractions.

Northern Uptown

Southern Uptown

SouthEnd

Elsewhere in Charlotte

Do

If you're still going after a long day, or if you got a late start, there are plenty of things to do after the sun sets. One note of caution: the bar-heavy area around College St. behind Hearst Tower in Uptown can be a little less than kid-friendly. It's safe, but you might hear some rich language and you will definitely see people in varying states of intoxication.

Stay safe

By and large, Charlotte is an extremely safe city in its central districts. Crimes against children or families are extremely rare; however, as in any city you never want to let your guard down too far. Keep kids in sight in crowded areas (such as the bus terminal) and don't let them wander too far. Teach them to recognize the dark blue uniforms of police, and use a central location (such as the Square) as an emergency meeting point. The most common crime in central Charlotte seems to be auto-related theft and break-in. Parking in a deck will usually be enough to keep your car safe; if you park in a lot be sure that it will have an attendant at all times. Parking on the street is generally safe during the day, but streetside parking in isolated areas at night is probably not wise.

Emergencies

Of course it is impossible to prepare for all situations, so it's helpful to be aware in advance of the resources available for an emergency. If you are in need of basic healthcare or santiation items (such as bandages, diapers, or common medications), there are pharmacies located on both the northern (CVS ) and southern (Eckerd ) ends of Tryon St. in the city center. If you are in South End, your best bet is the Eckerd near the corner of South Blvd. and Park Ave.

For more serious emergencies, you can go to one of the two hospitals located just outside of Uptown. Presbyterian Hospital is the most directly accessibe; simply head straight down East Trade St. away from Uptown. Trade will turn into Elizabeth Ave., which dead-ends at the hospital. Also, the larger Carolinas Medical Center is only a few minutes away. From Morehead St. near the stadium, head south and bear right on Kings Dr.; Medical Center Drive is on the right. CMC includes a large children's hospital and may be better for child-specific emergencies.

As always, be aware of police presence if you should feel unsafe. Call 911 to report unsafe or threatening incidents. If your car is stolen, call 911 to place a report; if it is broken into or vandalized, call 311 (non-emergency services) to report the crime.

Go next

Most visitors will use highways to leave Charlotte; consider staying off the interstate if you're visiting during a heavy rush period (such as a holiday or game day). In particular, festivals such as the 4th of July and Speed Street will completely jam local roads; give some thought to using a city bus to park-and-ride on those days in order to save some stress. If you need to head back to the airport, the flat $20 fee for a shuttle is worth the convenience.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.