9 Things to Do with the Family in East Charlotte

Pizza 315


Amalfi’s Pasta and Pizza
8542 University City Blvd., Charlotte
Named for the hometown of the owners, Amalfi’s serves large portions of traditional Italian favorites in a casual atmosphere. Its extensive menu features more than 20 different pasta dishes plus chicken, veal, hot subs and pizzas, from gourmet to build your own. Off the children’s menu, kids can get one pizza slice at a time for a just-the-right-size meal.

Harrisburg Family House
5429 N. Carolina 49, Harrisburg
This restaurant is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, fast table service, large portions and affordable prices. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (except for Sunday dinner), it offers a number of specials each day including comfort foods such as pot roast and chicken and dumplings. The extensive menu features Italian and Greek favorites along with seafood, subs and sandwiches, burgers and steak dishes. The children’s menu has kids’ favorites such as spaghetti and chicken fingers with fries.

Afton Tavern
355 John Galt Way, Concord
Dinner is the time to visit the casual Afton Tavern. Its large dinner menu features typical tavern fare, with build-your-own burgers, salads, steaks and fish and chips. The kids menu offers favorites such as chicken tenders and mac-and-cheese with a large variety of healthy sides such as fresh fruit, carrots and celery, and sweet potato fries. Better yet, on Mondays, kids eat free.


concord-mills-01.jpgConcord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord
Often cited as the state’s top tourist attraction, this outlet mall offers more than 200 stores, a movie theater and go karts. Among the stores are several for children, such as Carters and Osh Kosh B’Gosh. Don’t bypass The Lego Store, where you can try out a new play set or replace the one missing piece from your set at home. The highlight of a trip for many tikes is the carousel at the food court. Coming soon is a SeaLife aquarium, set to open in May 2014.

Kannapolis Intimidators
2888 Moose Road, Kannapolis
Part of the South Atlantic League and the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, the Intimidators play about 70 home games during their season, so it’s easy to catch a game during the April-September season. Games are generally in the evenings, and a couple of games a month feature fireworks. For little ones who get restless, there’s Pit Stop Playground down the first base line. This inexpensive outing is a fun way to introduce kids to baseball.

Reed Gold Mine
9621 Reed Mine Road, Midland
Reed Gold Mine is where gold was first discovered in the U.S. in 1799. In fact, North Carolina was the top gold-producing state until the California Gold Rush started in 1848. Now visitors can take a free, guided tour of the tunnels and an ore-crushing stamp mill and even pan for gold themselves ($2 charge). The visitor center displays mining equipment and shows a film about that first gold discovery by John Reed. Also at the historic site are plenty of picnic tables and trails to explore.


Screen-Shot-2013-06-25-at-7-18-19-AM.pngReedy Creek Nature Center and Park
2900 Rocky River Road, Charlotte
Reedy Creek is actually part park – with a playground, dog park, picnic areas and various playing fields and courts including an 18-hole disc golf course – and part nature preserve – with a nature center, fishing ponds and 10 miles of trails. Hikes offer views of forests, fields, lakes and streams, making a great opportunity for families to get to know nature. The nature center helps with this too, frequently scheduling events – for example, meet-and-greets with snakes – to introduce little ones to the world around them.

Kannapolis Village Park
700 W. C St., Kannapolis
Village Park has many elements of fun. The Rotary Express Train is a handcrafted replica of a CP Huntington, first used in the 1860s. Rides take 5 minutes and are only $1. Nearby is the Splash Pad where kids up to age 12 can enjoy getting splashed, sprayed and drenched. The water park is broken into two age areas – over and under 5 – so little visitors won’t get knocked over by active bigger ones. Again, admission is $1. Concerts and kids movies are shown in the amphitheater in summer.

Dave’s Paddleboats at University Place
W. T. Harris Boulevard and North Tryon Street
Dave’s Paddleboats is open all year, though hours change seasonally, and is one of the few places in the area for paddleboating. Take a boat out for 30-minute rides and use your foot power to glide across the lake that’s a part of the Shoppes at University Place. Each boat can hold two adults and two small children; life jackets are provided. The shopping center has a variety of shops and restaurants for after your water adventure. 

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Communities: East Charlotte