Charlotte-Area Fitness Options for Children

Both indoor and outdoor activities
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Help your child create healthy habits through physical fitness. Children can build strength, coordination and confidence through exercise, and local resources provide a variety of ways to make it fun.

According to American Academy of Pediatrics’ site,, children ages 6 and older should receive one hour or more of physical activity per day. The website states that younger children benefit most from exercise through active play.

Local resources for families include outdoor spaces for hiking and play, indoor free-play areas and indoor structured-play options. Sports can also be a fun way for children to engage their muscles and burn energy. Check out our Sports and Fitness directory for additional athletic resources.

Outdoor Spaces

  • Freedom Park. 1908 East Blvd. Freedom Park offers 98 acres of outdoor entertainment. This Charlotte staple connects to Little Sugar Creek Greenway, which makes is accessible by foot or bike. If driving, review parking information online. Parents and children will enjoy the walking path around the water, two playgrounds and NFL Play 60 KidZone. The KidZone features an obstacle course and 40-yard dash.
  • Crowder’s Mountain State Park. 522 Park Office Lane, Kings Mountain. 704-853-5375. Bigger kids, teens and even babies in backpack carriers can enjoy a mountain adventure only 40 minutes from Charlotte. Pack a picnic, water, and a first aid kit to hike one of the 11 trails at the park.
  • Reedy Creek Park. 2900 Rocky River Road. 980-314-1119. The 146-acre park in features sports fields, a disc golf course, picnic shelters, a fishing pier, two playgrounds, a dog park and ten miles of hiking trails. In short, this park has everything for a full day of active, family fun. Please note that the nature center is currently closed.
  • McDowell Nature Preserve. 15222 S. York Road. 980-314-2267. The nature preserve offers more than seven miles of trails to explore. After a hike, take a break at a campground, picnic shelter, playground or waterfront area overlooking Lake Wylie. Please note that the nature center is currently closed.

Indoor Free Play

  • Sports Connection. Locations at Northlake, Ballantyne and Granite Street. 704-583-1444. Let kids burn energy while having fun. Laser tag and Jump-N-Play inflatables get hearts pumping, but kids will also want to stay for bowling, arcade games and more. Different locations offer different activities. The Ballantyne location is scheduled to re-open on January 16; see website for details and hours.
  • Adventure Air Sports. 2375 Cherry Road, #101, Rock Hill. 803- 326-5867. Jump the wiggles out at Adventure Air Sports, an indoor trampoline park with ninja course, climbing wall, dodgeball and basketball areas, and foam pits. Be sure to check out deals, including but not limited to Toddler Time, Family Pass and Homeschool Pass.
  • Big Air. 2408 Sardis Road North. 704- 246–5233. Big Air Trampoline Park gives kids the freedom to be kids. Run, jump and play on the trampolines, including separate jump areas for basketball, dodgeball, battle beams and more. Children will also enjoy the virtual reality experience and laser maze. Find weekly deals and temporary changes in operating hours online.
  • Inner Peaks. 2220 S Tryon St. and 10715 Independence Point Pkwy. 980- 242-3244 and 704-844-6677. Elevate your workout with an indoor climbing experience. Children ages 5 and older can climb along with older siblings and parents. One-day passes are available, as well as multi-visit passes and memberships.

Indoor Structured Activities

  • Tiny Blossoms Yoga. 15905 Brookway Drive, Suite 4106, Huntersville. 704-659-1884. Cost varies by class. Tiny Blossoms Yoga offers prenatal and postnatal yoga, baby and mother yoga, toddler and mother yoga, and kids’ classes. Children ages 6-14 can participate in age-appropriate yoga classes. The studio offers some free videos online as well.
  • The Little Gym of Charlotte on Providence. 2935 Providence Road, Ste. 206. 704-365-3838. Get physical through play at The Little Gym. Ages four months and older can begin parent and child classes, and children can continue other class offerings through age 10. Find another location in Huntersville.
  • Pineville Ice House. 400 Towne Centre Blvd., Pineville. 704-889-9000. Pineville Ice House offers public open ice skating times as well as learn-to-skate lessons, figure skating and hocky. Toddlers through adults can register for learn-to-skate lessons.
  • Charlotte Aquatics. 7835 Little Ave. 704-341-9673. Charlotte Aquatics helps children feel comfortable in the water to become confident and competent swimmers. Children can begin lessons as young as 3 months of age.