Charlotte with Teens: A Perfect Family Day
Rise and Shine at LePeep, Home of Omelets and Pampered Eggs
Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, start your Charlotte family adventure with hearty omelets at LePeep Restaurant (8140 Providence Road, 704-540-0470). While your teen noshes on a Mini Denver with Black Forest ham, bell peppers, onions and cheese, indulge yourself with your choice of Pampered Eggs, such as the Dawn Breaker, which consists of scrambled eggs, bacon, scallions and diced tomatoes. If you can't make it for breakfast, it's also an excellent choice for lunch when sandwiches, burgers and wraps are served. Le Peep is open daily 6:30AM-2:30PM.
U.S National Whitewater Center
To work off some of that morning energy, take your teenager to the U.S. National Whitewater Center (5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, 704-391-3900). Located on 307 sprawling acres along the Catawba River, this official Olympic Training Site gives everyone a chance to raft, canoe or kayak. There is also climbing, jumping and a high-ropes obstacle course, plus much more.
Cost varies, depending on how much your teenager wants to do. An AllSport Pass ($49) provides unlimited access to all sports, while the OneSport Daily Pass ($25) allows participation in one sport, plus unlimited access to another activity, such as biking. There is a $5 parking fee per car, but for those who would rather observe than participate, there is no cost. Take a stroll along the walking trails or watch your teen paddle down the river, an excellent activity for visiting Charlotte with teens. The main grounds and trails are open from dawn to dusk every day, and specific activities have varying hours.
There are numerous museums in Charlotte, and family travel should always include something to nurture the mind. The Discovery Place (301 North Tryon Street, 704-372-6261) is a fun and interactive science museum that teaches the principles of physics, gives the details of weather forecasting, and offers exhibits such as "Them," which provides a microscopic look at the numerous bacteria, parasites and other organisms that inhabit the human body.
Especially popular with teens is the IMAX dome, an immersive movie experience showing films such as "Under the Sea" or "Legends of Flight." Tickets for The Discovery Place Museum are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $9 for children. The museum plus IMAX is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $14 for children. The Discovery Place Museum is open Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat 10AM-6PM and Sun noon-5PM.
Shopping at Concord Mills
Folks drive from all over to visit Concord Mills (8111 Concord Mills Boulevard, Concord, 704-979-5000), and if you're on a vacation in Charlotte with teens, it's a must see. There are over 200 stores to choose from, ranging from Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World to Bed, Bath and Beyond. You might want to turn them loose at Dave and Buster's while you grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks. The combination restaurant and arcade boasts online games, arcades, billiards, bowling and more. Concord Mills is open Mon-Sat 10AM-9PM, Sun noon-7PM.
Bedder, Bedder and Moore: How Much Better Can it Get?
Bedder, Bedder and Moore (3501 South Tryon Street, 704-527-0107, and 1730 Abbey Place, 704-525-1705) is a great stop for lunch, and the name definitely fits this full-service delicatessen. There are two locations in Charlotte providing great food at a low cost, which comes in handy if your teen appears to have a bottomless stomach. The independently owned deli has been a mainstay in Charlotte for 20 years, and they're as well-known for their roast beef sandwiches as they are for their catering. For less than $10, you can have tasty roast beef, chicken or ham served up in a sandwich, wrap, pita or salad. The deli is open Mon-Fri 10AM-3PM and Sat 11AM-3PM.
NASCAR Speedpark at Concord Mills
The next stop on your family adventure in Charlotte is guaranteed to keep your teens occupied for quite some time. NASCAR Speedpark (8461-G1 Concord Mills Boulevard, Concord, 704-979-6770) boasts several tracks that thoroughly test driving skills, not only for the teenager, but also for the whole group. The Family 500 is a 1,200-foot track, which has both one-seat and two-seat cars. The SlideWayz track lives up to its name, featuring a polished, slick track for slipping and sliding. The Champions is a two-story, figure-eight track inside the SpeedDome Arcade. Costs to try out the tracks range from $3.50 to $7.50. Other rides include Speed Bumper Boats, NASCAR Challenge Golf, and "The Rock" Climbing Wall. Hours vary due to events, so check the website for details.
Salsarita's Fresh Cantina
As long as you're at the mall, have dinner at Salsarita's Fresh Cantina (8111 Concord Mills, Concord, 704-979-5000), where you'll enjoy Mexican food that's prepared while you watch. This relaxed eatery is a perfect spot to catch your breath and enjoy some fresh, tasty food to finish out your day. Salsarita's is open Mon-Sat 10AM-9:30PM and Sun noon-6:30PM.
Concord Mills Shop and Stay
If you plan to spend a lot of time at Concord Mills, check out nearby hotels for Shop & Stay Packages. Some even offer shuttle service to the mall, making it easy to get your family back and forth from a day of shopping. The Shop & Stay Package also includes a coupon book with up to $1,000 worth of savings.
From shopping and NASCAR to outdoor activities and educational fun, there are plenty of things to do in Charlotte with teens. Plan your family vacation with some of these options in mind, and you're sure to have an adventure you'll never forget!
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