Zoos in CHARLOTTE with kids

It’s animal time in Charlotte, North Carolina and they are calling YOU!

For those families who LOVE those animal encounters, look no further than Charlotte because this The Tar Heel State city has plenty of them!

We have to start with zoos. These are the most iconic way to experience wildlife, and great to visit with children. They offer animal encounters, and kids can experience creatures from all across the globe.  

Farms are a great alternative for a more hands-on experience with petting zoos and barnyard fun. Wildlife sanctuaries offer kids an invaluable lesson in conservation, and animal-specific attractions let kids really immerse themselves in their favorite creatures!

Whatever wildlife experience you choose with children, you know they will walk away filled with memories and knowledge that can’t be replaced. They’ll have a ROAR-ing time! 

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  • Carolina Raptor Center

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    (10 miles) Huntersville

    Stroll along the nature trail for a self-guided tour, observe raptors in their aviaries, watch a presentation of live raptors and chat with our Wild Wings Educators about your favorite bird of prey.

  • The Lazy 5 Ranch

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    (28 miles) Mooresville

    A privately owned exotic animal drive thru park that offers a 3.5 mile safari with over 750 animals from six different continents!

  • Tiger World

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    (30 miles) Rockwell

    Tiger World is a nonprofit animal conservation and educational center dedicated to rescue, rehabilitation, and preservation of exotic animals. We are open to the public for educational guided tours ...

  • Zootastic Park

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    (32 miles) Troutman

    An educational zoo with a great selection of well cared for mammals, birds and reptiles in comfortable habitats - an animal adventure in North Carolina!

  • North Carolina Zoo

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    (67 miles) Asheboro

    Kids and the family can experience wildlife from two different continents on 500 acres of exhibits carefully constructed to resemble natural habitats! Animal-tastic North Carolina fun!

  • Riverbanks Zoo

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    (85 miles) Columbia

    From elephants and koalas to penguins and sharks, formal gardens to natural woodlands, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden promises new discoveries around every corner!

  • Aloha Safari Zoo

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    (98 miles) Cameron

    A beautiful rescue zoo in North Carolina currently caring for over 300 exotic creatures, including aviary, reptile room and extensive habitats.

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Bricks 4 Kidz

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    (12 miles) Charlotte

    Open play for kids aged 3 to 12yrs, LEGO bricks, after school fun and robots - sounds like a fun indoor play experience for kids in North Carolina!

  • Romp n Roll

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    (13 miles) Harrisburg

    Romp n' Roll is a fun way for kids to stretch their minds and their bodies, as well as develop their imagination through creative movement and gym programs.

  • Bounce City

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    (37 miles) Salisbury

    Fun indoor play for kids up to 13 years, with inflatables, parties, toys and safe playtime fun! Great North Carolina fun

  • Bumper Jumpers Indoor Playground

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    (78 miles) Greensboro

    Indoor fun with inflatables, games, and birthday parties in Greensboro for those kids who love FUN! Parents can jump too!

  • Celebration Station

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    (78 miles) Greensboro

    Two mini golf courses, two go karting tracks, bumper boats with water cannons, batting cages and arcade.

  • Funzone for Kids

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    (79 miles) Irmo

    If your kids would enjoy gliding down an 18' Double Slide, racing through a 35' Obstacle Course, or challenging one another in our 5-in-1 Sports Combo, then Funzone is the place for you.

  • Safari Nation

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    (81 miles) Greensboro

    Fun inflatable activities for kids in Greensboro, from giant slides to obstacle courses, plus zip lines and Ballocity interactive zone! Great fun!

  • Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve

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    (7 miles) Charlotte

    Over 700 protected acres of nature and forest, with hiking trails, Reedy Creek Park, and a nature center with live animals and exhibits!

  • Lake Norman State Park

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    (31 miles) Troutman

    At Lake Norman State Park, fun is just a matter of scale. On one hand, there's the largest manmade lake in the state, Lake Norman.

  • Dan Nicholas Park

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    (40 miles) Salisbury

    Come for the wildlife park, stay for the aquarium, the mini golf, the boats, the petting barn, the gem mine - a beautiful park in North Carolina for the whole family!

  • Morrow Mountain State Park

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    (43 miles) Albemarle

    Enjoy the gifts of nature surrounded by the remnants of a once mighty range of peaks. Upon first encounter, the Uwharrie Mountains may seem like a mountainous mirage. These steep, rugged hills ...

  • Boones Cave Park

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    (45 miles) Lexington

    Explore the cave and hiking trails spotting wildlife and flowers, visit a 170ft tall tree, plus fish, swim, canoe or kayak.

  • South Mountains State Park

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    (51 miles) Connelly Springs

    Nestled deep in the woods, South Mountains State Park is the perfect place to enjoy nature. Here you can see a majestic mountain range peeking out from the gently rolling landscape of the piedmont.

  • Tanglewood Park

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    (59 miles) Clemmons

    An amazing county park with a fishing lake, gardens, BMX race course, trails, riding stables, a golf course, and MORE!

  • Lake James State Park

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    (70 miles) Nebo

    Tucked away in rolling hills at the base of Linville Gorge is Lake James, a 6,510-acre lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline. This impressive waterway is the centerpiece of Lake James State ...

  • Carolina Children's Garden

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    (75 miles) Columbia

    Kids can explore 2 acres of themed gardens created to inspire creative play!

  • Pilot Mountain State Park

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    (80 miles) Pinnacle

    Fun, from relaxation to exhilaration, is easy to find here. Treat yourself to a horseback ride through the woods or challenge the river from raft or canoe. A seven-mile woodland corridor joins two ...

  • Stone Mountain State Park

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    (80 miles) Roaring Gap

    Stone Mountain is not immediately visible upon entering the park that bears its name, but this magnificent 600-foot granite dome is well worth the wait.

  • Beech Mountain

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    (88 miles) Beech Mountain

    Come play a mile up! At 5,506 feet our town has many fun things to do! Come try out our free sledding hill, go ice skating, snow tubing, try skiing or snowboarding, or enjoy a delicious cup of hot ...

  • Hanging Rock State Park

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    (88 miles) Danbury

    Not far from the cities of the Triad area, off the four lane highways there's another North Carolina to be discovered sheer cliffs and peaks of bare rock, quiet forests and cascading waterfalls, ...

  • Elk Knob State Park

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    (90 miles) Todd

    Elk Knob State Park is one of the newest additions to the North Carolina state parks system.

  • Rays Splash Planet

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    (1 miles) Charlotte

    Ray's Splash Planet is unlike anything in the Carolinas, with a one of a kind waterpark filled with water fun. One of the many fun family places to go if you're looking for things to do with kids in ...

  • Kannapolis Recreation Park

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    (25 miles) Kannapolis

    A fun recreation park with swimming, water slides, kiddie pools and mini golf. Cool family fun in West Virginia.

  • Wet n Wild Emerald Point

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    (78 miles) Greensboro

    With over 36 rides and attractions, there's something for everyone from mild to wild, tots to seniors and wet to dry.

  • ImaginOn

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    Charlotte

    Family fun with children's theatre, a super fun library and revolving hands-on exhibitions. Great kids fun in Charlotte!

  • Lowes Motor Speedway

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    (13 miles) Concord

    Home to some great NARCAR races and other more kid friendly Crash Car races throughout the year (check schedule)

  • Friendly Acres Family Farm

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    (75 miles) High Point

    We are a family oriented farm that offers friendly farm animals for petting, outdoor areas for picnics, birthday parties, reunions, etc. Umbrella covered tables, a play area for kids and a pond are ...

  • Florence Motor Speedway

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    (91 miles) Florence

    Florence Motor Speedway can seat up to 3500 race fans and provides a night to remember - it's got NASCAR style stock car racing every saturday (check times and dates)